how taking breaks at work helps you !
Taking Breaks is vital !
Taking short breaks during the day is one of the most vital self-care activities in order to keep your level of energy high and your stress level low.
Taking breaks helps you to:
- really relax rather than simply pause
- slow down and still find excitement in your everyday life.
- reduce your mental fatigue, boost your creativity and balance your body
- restore your mind, body and spirit.
What Science says.
Science says that taking breaks is useful for:
• making better decisions (by thinking more clearly)
• sparking creative ideas and new solutions.
• focusing over long periods of time.
· relaxing your body and staying healthy.
· knowing your needs better
Why is it difficult?
Why is it so difficult to take regular breaks on a daily basis?
We all know how important it is to take breaks during the day to relax the mind and the body, but we still prefer working for long periods of time and only take a break when our brain finally stops co-operating.
There are probably lots of personal reasons behind this but let me try to define at least some of the most common ones.
· We feel too busy to take breaks. We have a lot of things to do so we think that taking a break is a waste of time.
· We feel social pressure to “do it all”, at work and at home.
· We measure our worth not by the results we achieve, but by how much of our time we spend doing things. We live frenetic lives, at least in part, because it makes us feel good about ourselves.
But let me assure you, even though you feel that way, the opposite is true. When we relax, the flow of blood increases in our body giving us more energy. It helps us to have a calmer and clearer mind which helps positive thinking, concentration and decision making.
When you feel settled and comfortable, you work through problems and apply your creativity differently than you would otherwise.
When you’re feeling relaxed, you’ll inspire others to follow your example, and that could benefit both you and your environment.
How to do it !
How do you keep in mind to take a proper break?
Using the potential of Visual Reminders and Self-care Tools like:
Checklist Method: Create a to-do list for the day and include break times as tasks.
As you complete your work tasks, mark them off along with your break tasks.
This gives you a sense of accomplishment and serves as a reminder to take breaks.
Break Journal: Keep a small notebook dedicated to tracking your breaks.
Note the start and end times of each break, along with a brief description of what you did during the break. This can help you become more mindful of your break habits and how they affect your productivity.
Motivational Notes: Write motivational or inspirational quotes on sticky notes and place them near your workspace. These can serve as reminders to take breaks and stay motivated throughout the day.
Screensaver Messages: Customise your screensaver with messages that encourage breaks.
This can be as simple as "Stand Up and Stretch" or "Take a Breath."
As you glance at your screensaver throughout the day, it reinforces the importance of breaks.
Smartwatch or Fitness Tracker: If you wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker, program it to vibrate at regular intervals as a reminder to pause. It's a subtle yet effective way to prompt yourself to step away from your desk.
Sticky Notes and Planners: Placing colourful sticky notes on your monitor, keyboard, or planner can be an effective strategy. Write a simple message like "Time for a Break!" or "Stretch and Breathe."
These visual prompts serve as immediate reminders to step away from your tasks.
Time-Blocking Techniques: Incorporate visual blocks into your digital calendar or physical planner. Assign colours to breaks, and allocate specific time slots for them. The visual separation makes breaks an integral part of your schedule.
Inspiring Posters: Hang up posters in your workspace that emphasise the benefits of breaks. A well-designed visual can motivate you to prioritise self-care amidst your tasks.
Mindful Breathing Sheet: Create a simple sheet with a few deep breathing exercises or mindfulness prompts. When it's time for a break, use this sheet to guide a brief relaxation exercise to refresh your mind.
Nature Imagery: Incorporate images of nature into your workspace. Research suggests that even viewing pictures of natural environments can have a calming effect, making it easier to transition into a break.
Weekly Reflection: Integrate the visual reminders into your weekly reflection practice. As you review your accomplishments and plan for the week ahead, let these visuals guide you in setting break intentions.
Collaborative Visuals: Encourage your colleagues to join the movement by sharing visual reminder printable with them. Create a supportive environment where breaks are celebrated and embraced.
Visual Reminders serve as your silent allies, gently guiding you towards moments of self-care in the midst of a bustling workday. By integrating these cues into your environment, you're taking proactive steps towards enhancing your well-being and productivity.
Remember, the path to a balanced workday starts with small, intentional changes. Let your surroundings guide you to take breaks that recharge your mind, body, and creativity.
The journey towards balance and well-being is a personal one, and you have to find the right tool for your wellness.
Visual Reminders have the power to transform your work routine, infusing it with self-care and mindfulness.
These tangible cues not only catch your attention but also serve as a gentle nudge, encouraging you to pause, recharge, and return to your tasks with enhanced clarity.
Why it works.
Visual Reminders are highly effective because they tap into the way our brains process information and trigger behavioural responses.
Here are some key reasons why Visual Reminders work:
Attention Capture: Visual cues naturally capture our attention. Our brains are wired to detect and respond to visual stimuli quickly. When we see an image or a visual element, it immediately stands out from our surroundings, prompting us to take notice.
Subconscious Influence: Visual Reminders can influence our behaviour on a subconscious level. Even if we're preoccupied with work, the presence of a visual reminder can work in the background, subtly encouraging us to pause and recharge.
Positive Association: When we use visually pleasing images or designs for reminders, they create a positive emotional association. This positive association can make the idea of taking breaks more appealing and enjoyable.
Tangibility: Visual Reminders are tangible and concrete. Unlike abstract concepts, they are clear and straightforward.
This tangibility makes them easier to grasp and act upon.
Personalization: Visual Reminders can be tailored to individual preferences. Whether it's a favourite quote, a calming image, or a motivating symbol, the personalization factor makes them resonate more deeply.
Simplicity: The simplicity of visual reminders makes them accessible to everyone. They convey a message without the need for complex explanations, making them universally understood.
Habit Formation: Consistent exposure to visual reminders helps form habits. As we repeatedly see the reminder to take a break, it becomes ingrained in our routine. Eventually, the act of taking a break becomes a natural response to the visual cue.
Cognitive Anchoring: Visual Reminders create cognitive anchors in our minds. When we associate a specific image or symbol with a certain action, like taking a break, the mere sight of that image can trigger the associated behaviour. Over time, this association becomes stronger, making it more likely that we'll follow through with the desired action.
Incorporating Visual Reminders into our daily routines leverages the power of our visual sense to influence our behaviour positively. By utilising this innate connection between sight and action, we can effectively reinforce desired habits, like taking breaks, and create a more balanced and mindful approach to our tasks and well-being.
Find the right tool for you
Now that you know why TAKING BREAKS is so important, and why using VISUAL REMINDERS and SELF-CARE TOOLS can help you, FIND THE RIGHT one FOR YOU !
Choose Your Visuals: Start by selecting Visual Reminder that resonate with you.
Whether it's soothing Nature scenes, Mindful breathing sheet, Break page reflection, Motivational quotes, or Break journal, opt for visuals that evoke a sense of tranquillity and motivation.
Print and Place: Print out the chosen Visual Reminders and strategically place them around your workspace. Consider putting them where your eyes naturally fall – on your computer monitor, near your keyboard, or even on the wall in front of you.
Self-care tools like Visual Reminders, Workbooks, Journals, and Trackers can be incredibly helpful for taking care of yourself better because they provide a structured framework for your self-care activities.
They help you organise your self-care efforts, making it easier to incorporate them into your daily routine. Having a consistent routine can lead to more effective self-care practices.
These tools encourage self-awareness and reflection. Journals, for example, allow you to express your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
This self-reflection can help you identify patterns, triggers, and areas where you might need more self-care.
It can also lead to insights about what specific self-care activities work best for you.
When you use Self-care Tools, you're making a commitment to prioritise your well-being.
The act of recording your self-care activities in a Journal or Tracker creates a sense of accountability.
You're more likely to follow through on your self-care intentions when you have a record of them.
Workbooks and Trackers often prompt you to try different self-care strategies and assess their impact.
This experimentation helps you discover what activities truly work for you and bring you the most benefit.
Over time, you can refine your self-care routine to include the most effective practices.
These Tools can be personalised to your preferences and needs. You can choose self-care activities that resonate with you, set goals that align with your aspirations, and adjust the tools to match your lifestyle.
Ultimately, Self-care Tools provide a structured and intentional way to prioritise your well-being.
Whether you chose a Journal to express your emotions, a Workbook to set goals, or a Tracker to monitor your progress, these Tools can help you lead a more balanced, fulfilling, and healthy life.
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