In many workplaces, you are provided a break or two in each day. It may be a scheduled lunch/meal break or scattered 15-minute breaks throughout your shift. Sometimes these breaks are structured, sometimes they are not, and sometimes it’s a mix.
Breaks are also part of the lives of freelancers such as myself, and sometimes less structure is more challenging! There are times I wish I was back on an employer-determined schedule so I’d have a consistent plan and accountability for my day. But at other times, I’m grateful that I’m personally “in-charge” of how I conduct my professional life.
No matter which style of a workday you have, it’s important to take regular breaks to recharge your mind and spirit and take care of yourself. So here are five thoughts about how you can make your break times count for your health and benefit each day:
- Try to establish some sort of schedule guideline for your breaks if your employer doesn’t already assign times. Ideally, you should be taking a minimum 5-minute break mid-morning and mid-afternoon in addition to a meal break.
- Think you don’t have time for a break? What is one thing EVERYONE does a few times a day? We go to the restroom. Take advantage of that word REST. It’s okay to slow down and linger just a bit, walk the long way around to get there, refill your water bottle, etc. It’s a built-in physical trigger reminding us breaks are necessary.
- Limit using breaks to take care of personal business. Often, it’s tempting to run an errand or balance the checkbook or do some other personal business during breaks. And yes, that is efficient. But make sure at least some breaks each week are totally for restful activities. Make yourself have lunch with a friend or at the park, play a game on your phone, briefly scroll through social media, or keep a book with you that you only allow yourself to read during breaks.
- Invest in the four quadrants of vital living (body, mind, soul, spirit) during your breaks each week. Walk, talk with a friend, read a good book, pray/read Scripture and inspirational materials/be still, eat healthy food, drink pure water, etc.
- Change the venue of your breaks. From time to time, go outside or to a different restaurant from what you usually do. Explore your surroundings and find a variety of safe and inspiring places you might enjoy going to (i.e. parks, museums, libraries, etc.) If you have a full lunch hour and work in a city or town, you might be surprised at the exploring you can do in an hour.
How about you? Do you have suggestions for taking a creative and restful break?
Suggested resource: a variety of fun worksheets to help you take a refreshing break are available through our Pay What You Want store.