Written by Meredith Strodel @hammockliving
We’re all so busy. Life is busy! Between friends and social engagements, family obligations, and work demands, it’s enough to make your head spin – if you let it. However, contrary to what may seem logical is the actual truth of the matter: when we’re being stretched too thin and don’t have a free moment to spare… this is when you most need to take a time out.
I recently went to a leadership and management seminar, and the woman teaching us how to be better supervisors spent a good five minutes stressing the importance of taking our lunch break. If you read the news at all, you’ve probably seen a slew of articles lately about how many unused vacation days Americans leave on the table and simply do not take.
As I said, I know we’re all busy. I know the emails don’t stop, the calls keep coming in, the boss wants to have another (!) meeting. Not to mention after work hours, and your friend is having relationship issues, your mom has a question about how to use her new iPhone, the dog needs to go to the groomers, and so on and so on.
There is overwhelming evidence that taking those hard-earned vacation days, taking your lunch break, heck, taking a walk around the block, proves massively beneficial for your overall wellbeing. Especially when you don’t think you have the time to even go to the bathroom.
Breaks during a busy day at the office actually boost productivity. Who would’ve thought? The time spent away from your desk will improve the time you do spend at your desk. Your brain needs a chance to turn off and recharge before it can keep going. Think of it like a muscle – just as your legs can’t run for eight hours straight without stopping (well, most of us anyway).
Little-known facts on the benefits of break-taking:
Taking a break helps to sustain concentration and energy levels throughout the day.
Whereas skipping breaks leads to exhaustion and increased levels of stress.
Getting the blood flowing by walking around can reduce aches and pains of being sedentary all day.
Fun breaks with coworkers (office Wii, anyone?) can increase bonding among team players while giving their brains a rest
So get over the self-imposed guilt trip next time you step outside for some vitamin D and peek at your Instagram feed during work hours!