A reminder for why you should take more breaks and slow down – taking breaks helps you recharge, gain new perspective, work smarter, and be happier.
Happy Monday, friends.
I’ve been sharing Mindful Monday videos with you for the last couple months now and wanted to switch things up and come back to my keyboard to spill it all out via text.
I’ve been going through a bit of a funk lately. I’ve been moving at hyper speed, putting more and more on my plate, saying yes to everything that comes along, and I’m grateful for all the work, the opportunities, but I can’t help but feel as if I’m back where I first started – behind my computer all day, every day. Not looking up. Not exploring. Not playing. Not connecting (I mean face-to-face connecting). I started my own business to give myself the freedom and flexibility to do what I want, when I want. But I’ve found that it’s even harder to disconnect, to separate myself from my work, when it’s my own business.
And I’m slowly but surely realizing the toll it’s playing. With this go-go-go mentality, I’m finding it harder than ever to slow down and be present and mindful. I mentioned on the blog last week that I got into a minor car accident and it was simply because I was being impatient. And the accident shook me up in more ways than one. It made me realize the detrimental effects that can happen by me not being mindful, present, and patient. By having this hurried mentality where I must fit it all in to feel accomplished and worthy.
Meanwhile, I’m missing out on all the joy and beauty around me. I’m missing out on focusing on the people around me. The love that surrounds me. And I’m once again losing sight of what it is that truly makes me happy and brings me fulfillment.
Do you ever feel like this? That you’re just spinning your wheels, going through the motions, speeding through life, without the chance to press pause? Take a breather? Gain some perspective on how things are going and where you ultimately want to go? I’ve talked about this before, in fact, right after I was laid off from my corporate job. The lay off gave me the blessing of time and space to just be. But as we know, history repeats itself and I’m finding myself back to old patterns.
So, how do you break this pattern? It’s quite simply really. You just need to take more breaks.
I recently read this article by Huffington Post on why we need breaks and the author, a self-proclaimed “workaholic” took five months “off” from her business when she moved to Germany and gave herself the freedom to explore, try new things, experience, play, see, do. And by creating that space for herself, she realized how much emphasis she had been putting on her work and not on other parts of her life and herself. By taking a break from her work, she was able to awaken all these other roles she could play: wife, hostess, house maker, teacher, etc. So, what are some of the other roles you play in your life? What roles would you want to awaken or try?
Breaks give us space which in turn help us to do all of these other amazing things, like:
- Breaks actually make us better at our work. Taking breaks can make us more productive, more creative, and can bring us new thoughts and valuable insights.
- Breaks give us perspective. By pressing pause, you can evaluate those long-term goals of yours and see if where you’re heading is line with where you actually want to go. By taking those breaks, you can decide if and what you need to change to reach those goals.
- Breaks help us recharge our batteries. Have you ever had writers block or been stuck on a problem and then go for a walk and all the sudden the answer hits you like a ton of bricks? That’s because taking breaks help us to see things differently. We can look at things with a new light, from a different angle.
- Breaks make us happier. Taking breaks helps us to see that there’s more to life than just work. Breaks help us to explore, play, take on adventures, feel, and love, which generates those warm, fuzzy feelings.
So I’ve been making a point recently to take more breaks. Hence my absence on the blog last week. I’ve been going for sunset walks in the beautiful arboretum that’s across the street from us. I’ve been spending more time with Steve. And taking time to do…well..nothing. And it feels glorious.
I’m also taking a few weeks in June/July to travel – like a real break – and my business-oriented self is nervous by just the mention of it. But I know it will be so good for me, my soul, my relationships, and ultimately, my work.
How do you take breaks? Are you even taking breaks? Are you giving yourself the chance to gain perspective? Recharge the batteries? See things differently? And how do you feel afterwards?
I’d love to hear from you too. Do you prefer these written Mindful Monday posts or the videos better? Or would you rather see a mix of both?
Have a great week and remember to take some breaks!