I thought to myself “I’ll never take a vacation again!” Now that isn’t a statement that I could ever truly stand by because I love to travel. But the thought crossed my mind time and again over the last two weeks; as I pulled a 40 hour work week in 3 days – leading up to my vacation and 50 hours in just 4 days upon my return.
The Friday after arriving from an amazing vacation in Cancun, I had to present a quarter of a million dollar social media marketing budget to a very large client (with only 10 days advance notice to prepare). I worked 14 hour days back to back and was racked with nerves … trying to make the presentation perfect.
During that time, I experienced first hand just how important it is to take breaks during the day. The first two days I didn’t act on the knowledge that I knew had been scientifically proven to be true. Working through breakfast and often lunch, I remember walking into the bedroom one evening and hearing my husband say “I’m concerned”. Exhausted and frustrated I just looked at him waiting for the rest. He then explained further “Your shoulders are almost to your ears and you’re bent over.” Annoyed for a moment, I then relaxed my shoulders and pushed them back. Standing upright once more, I realized he was right. I stopped to reflect on the day and all I could think was that nothing I’d done that day was worth my health.
The next day I did better. I still forgot to eat breakfast but I did remember to take breaks. I got up and walked around and had lunch at a restaurant in order to enjoy a change of scenery. I took two more 10-15 minute breaks that day and though still stressed felt much better. The following day I did better. I even fit in a 20-minute power nap. That afternoon’s conference call was one my best yet.
What are the scientific benefits of taking breaks? How often and when should you take breaks? Check out this article that I’ve read more than once, it’s full of some great stats and insight!
Why you need to stop thinking you are too busy to take breaks http://www.fastcompany.com/3034928/the-future-of-work/why-you-need-to-stop-thinking-you-are-too-busy-to-take-breaks
Each day this week try to take a least three breaks. You decide on the time and what you do for your break; meditate, stretch, take a walk etc.
Let’s see if we can straighten those shoulders, reduce those concentration lines and keep our bodies and mind humming at optimal levels.