Learning to Take Breaks that Work: Seven Things You Should Do for Yourself Regularly

Let’s face it.

Life and work can be stressful. Whether you are trying to wear all-the-hats running a small business (like me), have a pressure-filled position in corporate America, have to travel a lot for work or are under or unemployed, your professional life can be challenging. And when you add in personal pursuits and responsibilities (even positive ones) you can start to feel like you are running on empty more often than not.

It doesn’t have to be that way (all the time.) What if you could take small pauses in your day to refresh yourself without it becoming a project of its own? (Tell the truth–have you ever felt like taking a vacation from planning, packing and participating in a vacation?) You can.

Here are seven things you should consider doing for yourself regularly. They fit in the acronym REFRESH.

R – Rest Intentionally
E – Energize Yourself
F – Focus on What’s Important
R – Revive Your Inner Child
E – Entertain Your Mind and Spirit
S – Sense Your Senses
H – Help and Refresh Others

People who regularly incorporate these practices into their lives likely feel refreshed more often than those who don’t.

Let’s take a deeper look at what it means to practice these ideas:

Resting intentionally means more than falling into bed at night. It’s carving out specific times to rest and relax, without feeling guilty, knowing you are refilling your tank.

Energizing yourself can occur in multiple ways, including but not limited to wise nutrition choices, hydration, spending time alone or with people (or both) depending on your temperament, and pursuing activities that bring you joy.

Focusing on what’s important takes time. It could mean you put aside a project to have a date night or to play with a child or pet. It may mean having a weekly, monthly or quarterly meeting with yourself to review goals and habits and whether they still align with your values.

Reviving your inner child means that for a few moments, you throw away the fear of being childlike. Watch kids play and you’ll see how imaginative and energetic they are. They typically aren’t worried about whether people will think they are being silly.

Entertain your mind and spirit means different things to different people. Maybe you like to go to a movie. Or do puzzles. Or cook without having to rush. Find out what entertains you in a positive way and carve out time for it.

Sense your senses. Do you take the time to really pay attention to what you are hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing and feeling?

Help and refresh others. Proverbs 11:25 tells us, “A generous person will prosper. He who refreshes others will be refreshed.” I’m sure you’ve experienced that joyful, lighter feeling when you’ve helped someone or showed some extra courtesy.

Fortunately, you can do any or all these things during refreshing moments, even on a workday. You don’t have to carve out hours … even minutes help!

I’m here to help. Each month, I produce a simple document of 10 or more activities that you can use to prompt yourself to enjoy a few minutes focusing on one of the seven elements of refreshing yourself. I choose a monthly theme and you can print and cut the sheets to fit in a planner, purse, journal, or messenger bag. You’ll be coloring, or noting something you’re sensing, or doing something kind–the ideas and prompters vary each month.

These sheets aren’t super fancy, but they are fun, thought-provoking and simple – designed to help you relax and enjoy yourself for a few moments during a coffee break, lunch break, even a restroom break! (Want a sample? Click here.)

I launched Refresh in January 2019 and have recently converted it to a Patreon page to make it accessible to anyone. It’s supported by monthly pledges at an amount YOU choose (minimum $1 per month.) Each month, I post the link to that month’s Refresh bundle up as a post and you’ll be notified by Patreon, and you are also allowed to share it with one close friend OR family member per month.  More elements may be added in the future depending up Patron growth.

Learn more here! I hope you’ll become a Patron too, and enjoy taking breaks that work!


Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

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