The American lifestyle usually means you live a busy, on-the-go 9-5 lifestyle.
You tend to eat your breakfast on the go or out, and tend to work more hours than most European countries. You are always running around doing things and trying to stay productive.
It is important to realize that as a self-care routine, we must break this habit and recharge from time to time. Your iPhone or Laptop won’t work unless you recharge it and you certainly are no different.
Most of us are living a 9-5 (or more) type of job and rarely take any breaks in between. While it is crucial to take action of your life and keep going after what you want, it is also important to take regular breaks and unwind. You need balance in all parts of your life to live out your best self. It takes time to figure out the right balance for your own individual need, but if you keep taking small steps each day you will get there.
Taking regular breaks and getting present of the moment can help us:
- Think more clearly
- Clear our minds
- Feel happier and more at peace
- Be more productive and have more energy
- Keep your blood flowing by taking a walk
It has been proven that human bodies were not meant to sit for eight hours straight and breaking your day by taking multiple breaks can increase your productivity. This doesn’t only apply to desk jobs, you could implement this with whatever type of work you need to accomplish.
So how do you take breaks?
17 Minute break rule:
There’s a study that suggests we take a 17 minute break after working 52 minutes. Seems like a lot of time off, but in reality this helps you crunch and use your time working more diligently. The break helps you refocus and recharge. You could take a walk outside, do little exercises at work, talk to coworkers on non-work related stuff, or if you do have to look at the computer perhaps you could look at funny pictures of animals – which has been proven with research that it increases your productivity.
One of the most effective ways to take a break is to take an exercise class or go to the gym during your lunch break. This, not only breaks up your day, but it allows you to be somewhat active for those of us working a 9-5 style type of job. It allows you to think clearly as you’ve taken some time off to yourself and to feel refreshed.
As much as you want to accomplish your goals and hustle, a human body cannot function working 100% every hour of the day. Think of concentration as a muscle and how you would treat each muscle going to the gym. You cannot work the same muscle for an extended amount of time and need to take breaks in between training each day. If 17 minutes is not feasible with your work, consider taking 5-10 min breaks to see the effects.
Stop looking at your phone:
Another interesting thing to note is that most of us check our phones first thing in the morning, then listen to music on our phones/ look at our phones on our commute to work, then we get to work and stare at a screen for 8+ hours, then head come with our phones on our hand then look at our laptop or watch Netflix and do it all over again the next day. To break this vicious cycle, I think it is important to be more mindful and take short breaks everyday. Look around you and your surroundings, talk to strangers, look at the clouds more often, journal, meditate, and most importantly take care of yourself more often.
This weekend take a moment to take care of you.