This week I’m staying in the snow with my family. We’ve taken a short break to squeeze in a week of skiing before the season ends completely. As I write, I can see the snow capped mountains out the window, I can hear the birds gently singing, and I am aware of just how relaxing it is to take a break. I know the importance of keeping the spring in your step, and taking a break is one way to do just that.
As a goal oriented, outcomes driven person, it’s sometimes hard for me to stop and rest. Yet this is exactly what we all need to do sometimes. You’ve probably heard it before, I know I have, but it is crucial to give your mind and body planned and regular rests.
I’m not just talking about going away on holidays (although that’s super fun when it happens), I’m also talking about taking breaks during your busy day and scheduling time for yourself. Taking a break is about creating a ‘window’ in your day where you can stop, refuel, reflect and rejuvenate.
Here’s 4 reasons you should take a break:
1. To rest your body.
We are on-the-go physically every single day and our bodies simply get tired. Resting your body slows down your heart rate and breathing, and allows your body an opportunity to more effectively rejuvenate.
2. To rest your mind.
An active mind can be a difficult thing to slow down. Taking a break starts the process of letting your mind and thinking ‘catch up’. A rested mind thinks more clearly; a rested mind easily gains clarity on ideas; and, a rested mind is able to focus more accurately and achieve better results.
3. To create reflection time.
It might seem contradictory to make this point right after I’ve said to rest your mind in the previous point. However, reflection is absolutely crucial to resting well. Many times we struggle to rest our mind because we haven’t learned how to reflect properly. I am a big fan of reflection and getting the most out of every day (I’ve written about this here and here and here) and when you reflect well, you will notice how much more your mind is rested.
4. To improve your practice.
A rested person simply does a better job at what they do. When your mind and body are peaceful, when your thinking is clear and focused, it makes sense that you will be far more effective.
This week’s assignment:
Take a break. That’s it. Just give yourself a break.
Enjoy the journey,
And more importantly,
Enjoy the moments.