Adhering to some semblance of a routine is the best way to get through the day. A set routine structures your day and allows you to make the most of your time. It provides balance to your fast paced, chaotic and busy lives.
Additionally, a good routine also helps you divide your personal and professional commitments, maximize productivity and avail as many benefits as possible from the 24 hours available to you in a day.
However, sometimes, the comfort a routine brings can easily morph into confinement. The same old motions of your daily lives can begin to feel rather exhausting and mentally draining. The monotony of the daily patterns – work, eat, sleep and repeat – become uninspiring.
Eventually, the autopilot kicks in. You perform daily activities like mundane chores, taking care of your family and running daily errands to just get them over with. The predictability becomes boring and stagnating.
Somewhere in the midst of meeting deadlines, making payments, getting groceries and juggling your household demands, you find yourself stuck in a rut. Caught up with the daily grind, you begin to feel overwhelmed and tired of keeping up with life.
As a matter of fact, one of the chief causes of stress and anxiety that individuals suffer from are due to their long and demanding work hours. What most individuals fail to realize is that such stress inducing routines, involving all work and no play, can have serious implications on not only their physical and mental health but also on their productivity and overall lifestyle. Stress, fatigue and depression take a toll on your physical and emotional resources and reduce cognitive functionality.
Therefore, it is essential to break out of your daily routine, every once in a while, to take a breather and replenish your draining cognitive resources. Following are a few benefits of taking a break from your routine life:
Reduced stress levels
One of the major setbacks of a toxic, high pressured routine, as mentioned earlier, is the build-up of stress. Stress, in itself, may give rise to several health problems. Chronic stress has various harmful implications on the body, some of which include, disruption of the digestive system, increase in the risk of cardiovascular diseases and suppression of the immune system. What’s more, it can also accelerate the aging process and cause mental health problems like anxiety and depression.
According to a survey conducted by American Psychological Association, in 2012 65 per cent of working Americans suffered from chronic work stress and only 37 per cent reported to be good at managing that stress. This indicates that most individuals do not know how to deal with it. Thus, it is critical for people to know about the importance of taking breaks.
Breaks, unarguably, are the ultimate stress relievers. It’s entirely your choice whether you want to keep them short and sweet or take a few days off. Sometimes, even reading a few pages of a novel can help you relax and unwind. You will absolutely be feeling reinvigorated and ready to take on the daily, demanding tasks head on, once you are done.
If you take enough precautions to control your stress levels now, you can prevent many psychological and brain degenerating ailments like Alzheimer’s and dementia that haunt individuals in their old age. Therefore, take a break whenever you can. It will not only help your today but also secure your tomorrow against stress.
Enhanced focus and concentration
From the moment you turn off your blaring alarm in the morning, till the moment you return to the comfort of your bed at night, everything you do throughout the day requires focus and concentration. The hour after hour spent working or doing daily chores causes our brain resources to deplete. This is why there is a specific point during the day when your mind goes blank and can’t seem to focus or even comprehend the easiest of things.
To avoid such scenarios, it is essential to ‘switch-off’ for a bit and reboot. Go for a quick walk or have a cup of delicious green tea. This can help you gather your wits, regroup and delve back your daily activities, with a fresh mind. Thus, a break can improve your focus on the task at hand and enhance your concentration as well.
As discussed, piling on hours of work induces stress and anxiety that can worsen your memory and cause you to suffer, owing to bad decisions based on impaired judgement.
A break in the form of a nap can do wonders to keep you alert and your memory sharp. Experts believe that REM sleep can boost memory and creativity. Therefore, during a hectic work day, make it a point to shut your eyes for several minutes to rest your over worked brain and strained eyes. When you get back to your daily activities, you are guaranteed to feel energized.
A yoga break can boost creativity and productivity
Another advantage of taking a break is that it plays a significant role in boosting productivity and creativity.
You need to take a break to stay on schedule. It is believed that a meditative break, involving yoga asanas and deep breathing exercises, not only helps the body relax and rid itself of toxins but also boosts creativity and increases feelings of compassion towards the self and others.
It clears your mind of the overwhelming stress brought on by the crunch of daily chores and allows you to let go of your worries. Moreover, social breaks can also help improve productivity. It is believed that working in 90-minute blocks, followed by a period of rest, maximizes productivity, as it is similar to our body’s own natural rhythmic patterns.
Keeps you fit
Nothing feels as awesome as taking a vacation. It allows you to disconnect from your daily grind and lets you leave your worries behind. A week-long vacation can relieve stress, improve your mood and help you gain new perspective on things.
Vacation destinations often have tourist spots which require the individuals to move around a lot. Walking around can also help in sustaining physical fitness. So, when you return to your daily lives, you will feel not only mentally relaxed but also physically recharged. What’s more, a few days away from work and home will make you long for your routine and thus you will feel more inspired when you return.
Reduces risk of chronic pains
If you have an office job where you spend most of your time hunched over a desk, doing paperwork, or work on computer for the better part of the day, you are susceptible to developing Digital Eye Strain. It is absolutely essential for you to take a fifteen-minute break every two hours to rest your strained eyes.
Stretch your limbs to unwind those taut muscles, take a walk and breathe some fresh air to recharge your batteries. This will also help you reduce the risk of developing any neck or back pains. So, when you do get back to your routine life, you can do a much better job and excel.
So, there you have it folks! Breaks are crucial- be it in the form of a much needed 20-minute nap, a mind clearing stroll through the park, a rejuvenating yoga session or a month long vacation in the Bahamas.
They can undoubtedly go a long way in helping you relax and recuperate. Therefore, do something new, mix up your routine, reshuffle your priorities and take out time to focus on yourself for your own mental and physical benefit!