The valuable skill of knowing when you need to take a break
Taking a break is a skill, and it’s one that we all need to learn.
Most of us know we need more rest.
- Rest helps build reserves, so we have strength and energy when we need it.
- Rest is calming, and gives us time to process thoughts and feelings.
- Rest helps our body to relax and function normally.
The main reason it’s not easy to rest is because stress can feel surprisingly positive.
Adrenalin makes us feel focused and energised.
It can feel good when we solve problems, achieve goals or meet deadlines.
If we are continuously in productive mode it starts to feel normal.
This stage is often hard to identify, because, well, we’re used to it.
This is when we need a break most of all.
Resilience implies the need to defend or protect. I prefer to think in terms of reserves instead. Everyone knows you can be more healthy when you take care of what you eat, drink enough water, take exercise, and sleep.
Rest isn’t on the list.
It can feel ‘optional’ or something that you only need to do if you are ill or weak.
This isn’t true.
Rest helps you build reserves, and you need rest as well as sleep.
Anxiety can feel like it’s generated by an emotional response, but is also triggered by stress.
When the nervous system doesn’t have a chance to rest and recharge, there is a heightened sense of anxiety and physical restlessness.
Rest helps your nervous system to return to normal so you feel calm.
Your biological systems are intelligent and adapt to stress.
Digestion can speed up or slow right down.
Problems with hormones, skin and immunity can all be triggered or worsened by stress.
Rest helps your biological processes return to normal.
Your body wants you to listen
If you’re low in energy, it’s probably fairly obvious that you need to replenish yourself.
If you’re wired, it’s less easy to figure out.
Make time to check in with yourself, and ask yourself what you need?
- More water?
- Something to eat?
- A hug?
- An early night?
Or does your body simply want you to take a break?
How to take a break
I learned a lot about taking breaks from reading How to Not Always Be Working by Marlee Grace. Link
There is a lovely downloadable work-book companion, which I enjoyed completing.
My favourite part of the book was a chapter titled, ‘How to take a break’.
In the workbook, I had to write down what a break looks like for me.
(You might like to try this too.)
Here’s what I wrote down.
A short break
- making tea and drinking it
- a glass of water and a yoga stretch
- a chat with someone, in person or on the phone
- a walk with or without dog/human/head-phones
- relaxing yoga by myself/at a class
- knitting/sewing while listening to music
- coffee or lunch with a friend
- a day pottering at home Related post
- a long walk in nature
- a day out somewhere new
New habits take time
I know what you’re thinking.
You don’t have the kind of life where you can just drop everything and take a break whenever you feel like it.
I know, I really do.
It’s the same for me.
But, try to build it where you can.
Make a conscious effort to listen to what your body is telling you, instead of overriding it.
Put on your own life jacket first.
If you take regular breaks, and make time for rest, you are taking proper care of yourself.
You’ll feel happier and have more energy for what’s important to you.
It won’t happen unless you make a plan.
Maybe take a few minutes to write a list of what a break looks like for you.
Think about when you can make one of those happen, and how.
10 more ideas for how to take a break
- sing, dance, listen to music
- draw, knit, crochet
- take a long bath or shower
- have a foot soak
- enjoy a tech-free evening
- water and tend your plants
- browse recipe books
- read a calm magazine (Oh and Flow are my favourites)
An appointment with yourself
‘I’ve been seeing Tracy on and off for over 5 years. I always leave my appointments (both in person or remotely) feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world! She incorporates not just homeopathy but loads of other holistic ways of living into her life and shares them with others – taking the burden of research off my shoulders.’
A homeopathy consultation isn’t just an appointment with me, it’s an appointment with yourself.
If something here is resonating with you, feel free to set up a free call.