If you are as busy as I used to be when I worked in TV and public relations, I know you probably find the idea of taking a break for yourself something of a pipe dream. I mean, it’s nice to think about in the same way it is fun to secretly hope you will win the lottery, but realistically, you have very little hope it could actually happen. Am I right?
Well, you CAN learn to incorporate mini breaks into your lifestyle, no matter how busy you are and once you do, I know you will become a big fan. You do know no one gets points for misery, right? So there is nothing to be gained by beating yourself into the ground with your daily routine. I tried the Type A path – didn’t turn out so well for me!
Here’s what to do instead:
- Plan a minimum of three, 10-minute mini-breaks into your day. Put them in your calendar and make them as much a priority as a meeting with your boss. Just. Do. It.
- During these breaks do not check your phone, take calls, eat, look at email or do anything for anyone else. This is time for YOU.
- What to do? Completely disconnect and go somewhere you can be alone. Get into a comfortable position, sit or lie down, and focus on your breath going in and then out.
- If you’d like, incorporate a few gentle stretches (Google “simple yoga stretches on You Tube”) or simply keep the focus on your breathing.
- Don’t be afraid of meditation. Just focus on your breath and as thoughts pop into your mind, simply let them drift by, like you are watching clouds in the summer sky. I personally like to listen to 10-minute guided meditations on my iPod or PC.
Also, to ease your mind, realize that there is no “correct” way to meditate. It’s unlikely that any of us will get to a point where all our thoughts cease to pester and we can sit in lotus position for hours on end. That’s not the goal. Even five minutes of slowing your breathing and disconnecting from all the external stimuli in your office or home is highly beneficial, and you get better at it as you practice.
Often we get caught up in the whirl of the day. Face it, there is ALWAYS work to be done, at home and at the workplace. Someone, somewhere, will always need you to do something for them. That fact will not change. How you choose to deal with the endless barrage is entirely up to you and since staying healthy is a priority, you may choose to take these mini breaks to re-center and re-focus yourself throughout the day.
After a mini break you will find that you are more productive, energized, less likely to snap at others and just generally calmer and happier. Many studies show that those who manage to make this simple change to their routine actually get more done and feel better about their lives in general. Conversely, many illnesses, including chronic ones like fibromyalgia, are linked with pushing yourself too hard and neglecting self- care.
Have you ever taken a mini break in your day? What did you do? How did it go? What challenges did you face? Please, leave a comment and share!