Sometimes, long breaks are necessary

It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems. Thich Nhat Hanh

Taking breaks is easier said than done sometimes. We live in a world where work and productivity are essentials, and where people are often celebrated for putting their work ahead of their well-being.

Some people brag about working non-stop, others about not sleeping enough, and some about having more than one job. While this can sometimes be important for surviving and thriving, it also creates a culture where breaks are not seen as essential or as important.

Even if people recognize that they need breaks, they might still be reluctant to take them or try to cut down on the time they spend resting. However, breaks and long breaks specifically are very necessary, and here is why you should allow yourself to take them.

They help you be more productive

The first reason is a good way of adapting to taking breaks while still having a productivity-focused mindset. Consider that it has been proven that breaks help you come back to work recharged and ready.

The more time you let pass without taking breaks, the more you need to truly recover and feel better. Fatigue and exhaustion, both physical and mental, builds up and requires time for recovery. Giving yourself this time and space in a regular way helps prevent burnout and can also make you more creative, more productive, and more full of energy.

They support your health

Even if you would like to do more, your body has its limits. Your physical and mental health can be supported by taking long breaks when you are not doing anything or when you have true leisure time without obligations.

Disconnecting is what allows you to reconnect and feel fully immersed in the situation, ready for work, and energized. Longer breaks are needed when you have worked a lot.

Long breaks connect you with yourself

Long breaks can allow you to remember who you are and set your priorities straight. These are the times when you connect with the reasons you are working for and why it matters.
Work is not always done for the sake of work. You surely have other goals you want to achieve and people who matter. Long breaks allow you to remember all these things and reconnect with yourself and with others. In this way, they can also increase your motivation.

Long breaks are times to experiment

In life, one thing we constantly need is novelty. Little morsels of novelty can be very good for your brain and your overall well-being. Also, making new habits is something that can benefit you a lot, but tends to require time, space, and a sustained change in habits.

But it’s not easy to try and introduce new things into your life as you are juggling everything on your plate already. Instead, it’s a good idea to try and implement them during long breaks when you have more of a chance to experiment and try different things that will help you improve your life.

Long breaks are for evaluating your life

Having space to think and breathe is also important because these are the times you evaluate and re-evaluate your life. These are the times when you get to ask yourself if you are happy where you are and whether there are important changes to be made.

In daily life, it’s easy enough to get caught in a routine and continue on autopilot. But when we have some time to ourselves is when we begin thinking. We might decide that things are aligned with our goals or that they are not in alignment and need changes. Either is valid. However, it is better to give yourself the chance to examine what’s going on.

Sure, you are not working when you are on a break, which, in a sense, makes you less productive. However, it’s also an important time for you to be able to work the rest of the time, make changes in your life, and improve your health and well-being.