Why do some of us, especially us type A personalities (that would be me), not take enough breaks? I believe like with many things in life, we need to understand the science combined with our own experiences. And sometimes maybe a reminder of what we know to be true, but have gotten so busy, we have forgotten to practice.
There are many scientific studies that show the power of taking a break. Whether it’s a quick break during the day to clear your head, taking a day off on the weekend to relax, or taking a vacation to re-energize, the science shows that breaks provide better focus, clarity, productivity, and even increased happiness.
In my 20’s, I got a sage piece of advice from an older woman who was listening to me discuss my hectic life. I am one of those people who squeezes in everything I can in the day, the week, and the month. This wise woman suggested that I needed a day each week that wasn’t time-based. Her simple advice was for me to not wear a watch (this was before cell phones) on Saturday. The advice served as a simple reminder to take the day as it came and not to be worried if I had gotten enough done or what was next to accomplish (again, remember I’m type A). I haven’t worn a watch on a Saturdays in decades, and I make it a habit not to wear a watch when I go on vacation. It’s a good reminder to take a break, slow my pace, and re-energize a bit.
Before my daughter went away to college, when I was puzzled by an issue I had been working on in my home office that I just couldn’t solve, I would ask my daughter to walk the neighborhood with me. She was a wonderful sounding board, and usually by the end of the walk, a decision was made on what to do. The change of scenery, the physical exercise, and her being a good listener all helped to bring clarity.
This year my husband and I decided to take a New Year’s trip as our holiday present to each other. We spent seven days on a small ship, anchoring off a different Caribbean island each day. Most of the trip, I had no cell service, so I completely took a break from work and my normal responsibilities at home.
It was incredibly energizing to spend my days doing something completely different. I came back from our trip rejuvenated. The science proved true.
I encourage you all to take a short break during the day to clear your mind and allow you to refocus, take at least a day off during the week to relax, take a vacation to re-energize yourself. I am confident your experiences will support the science.
At the end of the day… is an expression meaning an assessment of essential facts and truths. It’s a summation of the pros and cons of any situation and a straightforward statement of what really matters. It’s also the title of this blog series by Brenda Hodge, Nuance Healthcare’s Chief Marketing Officer, with insights about leadership, empathetic customer relationships, and marketing techniques.