Taking a break or a moment to reflect is equally important as searching for inspiration. Arguably, they balanced off each other. In many cases, I find most of my inspiration, solutions to a problem, or eureka moments when I was not even looking for one. Replicating this phenomenon however is a different story. One fundamental reason is that we barely even spare a slot in our daily schedule for a break!
One influential reason why we don’t even schedule breaks is the pandemic belief that break is not a productive activity. ‘Break is for lazy and sore losers!’. There’s little appreciation for breaks in this fast-moving world. Break and rest should be considered part of productivity. For this occasion, I will use the example of body-building or getting fit (as the quest to the ideal body is as much as a pandemic that I’m sure we all can relate to).
This is something I experienced the past 3 months in gaining more weight and my quest of becoming fit. There are many theories as well as new ones surfacing when it comes to body-building, but rest days will surely be a part of it. Try to google rest days for muscle growth and you will find a consistent explanation from each source you get. Here’s one source on my first search that explains the benefits of rest days. And quote from their second sentence:
Rest days are just as important as exercise … Taking regular breaks allows your body to recover and repair. It’s a critical part of progress, regardless of your fitness level or sport. Otherwise, skipping rest days can lead to overtraining or burnout.Kirsten Nunez
So why can’t we have rest-days part of our integral daily productive life as well? You can definitely schedule a break now on your calendar. The next question is how much and how long should I schedule my break time. This is where quality comes in. Having many poor-quality breaks is the same as having none at all. Took me some time to figure out my ideal rest and the amount of exercise I need to achieve the most balanced outcome, but I remind myself to stick to these simple rules:
- Listen to your mind and body –you know when you need to take a break!
- Make sure you are not distracted! Set all your notifications off if you need to -yes, all!
- Empty your mind! (Probably the most difficult of all) Make sure you don’t bring that bad luggage when you are on your break time.
- Enjoy and appreciate what you have during this break time; the scenery, the cup of tea, and the surrounding being around you.
Some breaks may take as short as 10 to 15 minutes -a simple walk outside around the office can fully re-energized. Some breaks would probably require you a long vacation or even a sabbatical. And that is as valid and as justified if your body and mind require it! Surely we have seen people coming back strong or even stronger. It is just normal.. let me repeat and conclude:
It is normal for humans to take a break!