Stress management: Why you need to take a break

by Dec 11, 2019Business Support, Overwhelm, Time Management

Stress management in this fast-paced world isn’t always easy. We’ve got so used to being plugged in and switched on 24-7. Smart phones have enabled us to check our emails, social media and generally stay in touch, no matter what the time or where we are. But this all comes at a price. We’re so used to constantly being reachable and on high alert, our stress levels are soaring as a result.

Constantly working isn’t great for health

If we look hard enough, there’s always going to be a reason to work and a reason to stay available, but that doesn’t mean we should be on call 24-7. Constantly having high adrenaline levels and being on alert all the time just isn’t good for our bodies. More and more of us are struggling from stress and it’s making us both unhealthy and less productive as a result. 

The physical symptoms of stress can be not only annoying but also concerning. With symptoms such as headaches, blood pressure increases, sleeping problems and even chest pains causing us even more anxiety and stress, our mood then takes a nosedive and we open ourselves up to anxiety and depression. This is why we need to adopt stress management techniques that are simple and workable, for our health and well being.

We need downtime – both at work and throughout the year

Taking regular timeouts from our busy lives, as part of a stress management strategy, enables us to give our mind and body a much needed rest. But it’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day, as well as throughout the year. Far too many businessmen and women aren’t taking all of their annual holiday entitlements and are seeing this as some kind of dedication award. The desire to be seen as a super-worker, who can handle everything solo-handed and at full speed with no rest period, just isn’t helping our stress levels. Your holiday entitlement is an important part of your overall stress management strategy – so make sure you’re taking full use of it.

Why you need to take a break as part of your stress management strategy

Your prefrontal cortex is responsible for keeping you focused and functioning. It helps you with your logical thinking, levels of concentration and impulse control. If you’re tired, stress levels are going to rise and you’re going to struggle to think creativity or make logical decisions. You’re also going to find it a lot easier to feel overwhelmed and reach for your comfort food or beverage of choice! This is why you will often get your best answers and ideas, when you’re in the shower, just going to bed or walking on the beach – your brain has had a break and is now firing on all cylinders!

Regular breaks boost enthusiasm and positivity

Taking a regular break will help boost your enthusiasm and positivity. It gives you time to switch off physically and mentally. Take a quick power nap or practice meditation, as these will work wonders for your stress levels. But also consider having a device switch off too. It does us good to unplug from the fast-paced world around us, so why not turn off your mobile, put your laptop into sleep mode and switch off for your break time!

Include movement-based breaks in your stress management strategy

Constantly sitting in one place isn’t great for your health. Stress levels increase, your circulation may suffer and your weight and blood pressure can rise. This is why it’s so important that you include getting up and changing your body position, as part of your overall break strategy. Intermingle movement-based breaks with stationary ones. Aim to go for a quick walk and practice some deep breathing outside, or complete a quick tai chi or yoga routine in your office, or spend some time in the gym. 

If we look hard enough, we’ll always find a reason to work, but we need to be focusing on the importance of taking regular breaks and implementing a healthy stress management strategy for ourselves. Not only will it help us stay healthy, productive and focused for longer, it  will also lower our stress levels, making us calmer, happier and generally nicer, as a result. 

Looking to cut down on your stress levels by getting help with your workload? Why not see how Elite PA Solutions can help. You can check out our services here and, when you’re ready to have a chat about your needs, simply head on over to our contact page and get in touch.

Image courtesy of Goodluz/