We all need to take a break from work sometimes, though, many people leave their vacation time unused. Whether you take a vacation, a stay-cation, or a play-cation, it’s important to take a break from the job, the routine, and the demands of life to keep stress levels in check. When we take a break, we’re not shirking responsibility; we’re taking care of ourselves so we’ll have the stamina to be our best.
People who work in highly repetitive jobs should be offered more frequent shorter breaks in order to prevent boredom which can result in a decrease in productivity, a decrease in proficiency, and less mistakes. There are many reasons why regular breaks are important; here are my Top 6 Reasons:
- Circulation is impaired by prolonged sitting: When you sit in static postures where you are not moving, circulation can be impeded. When blood flow to an active muscle is impaired, the oxygen supply is diminished, which over time can impair muscle function. The feeling of fatigue often is related to circulation and blood supply.
- Burnout: People who work continually face complete burnout and what good is a burnt-out employee? Physical exhaustion can lead to problems such as chronic headaches, fatigue, inability to concentrate, and trouble sleeping at night. Even if all you take is 15 minutes during an 8-hour work day, you can use that time to refresh yourself and feel more energized the rest of the work day.
- Productivity: Many studies have revealed that workers who take breaks are dramatically more productive during the day as opposed to those who do not. After a break, your performance levels increase dramatically so that you can tackle tasks again with renewed vigor and finish them accurately. Mistakes are also made more when you do not refresh your mind and body.
- Heart Risks: After researchers in Finland conducted a study on a group of nearly 800 workers over the span of 28 years, they found that subjects who failed to find time to recover from their work week were more likely to eventually die of cardiovascular disease. If people are not able to relax periodically, plaque can build up in their arteries which contribute to potential heart attacks and or strokes.
- Stress: Focusing on a tedious task for too long can easily lead to physical and mental stress. Stress as most know, can lead to serious implications for our health. Common consequences of stress include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, poor fitness, low resistance to viruses, and serious illnesses. If something that is being worked on becomes too stressful, it is best to take a break from it and resume the work once calm and collected.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries: Especially for those that sit at a desk all day staring at a computer, it is easy to develop repetitive stress injuries such as eyestrain from staring at a computer screen too long. Carpal Tunnel is also another injury which can develop from spending too much time typing and not typing in the proper position. Sitting in an office chair too long generally leads to wanting to fidget and move posture, most of the time into improper posture. By not sitting correctly and having adequate lumbar support, back and neck pain is sure to develop.
Options For Taking A Break From Work
If you need a break, there are several different options for getting one. You can go for a long and luxurious break, a relaxing and simple one, or short and sweet. You can even have minutes-long breaks that you take throughout the day to keep productivity higher and to keep from feeling overwhelmed. The following are resources for each type of break. Take your pick, and take a break today!
A real break, in the classic sense of the word, taking a vacation is more important than many people realize, which is why many vacation days go unused when they should be enjoyed to the fullest. The key to a restful vacation is to prioritize rest and fun when you go; don’t overbook yourself with tourist activities or bring so much work with you that by the time you return you feel you need a vacation from your vacation! Read on for more restful vacation tips.
The staycation is becoming more and more vogue, especially as people have a greater need to take a break, but with fewer means to pull off an exotic trip. The staycation is all about rest and relaxation, and enjoying the place you are often too stressed and busy to really enjoy: home sweet home. The key to a refreshing staycation is the same as the key to a restful vacation, though somewhat trickier to pull off: don’t overdo it, and don’t let work creep in. That means no cleaning, office work, or dealing with regular responsibilities. You can either turn off the phones, ignore email, and make it a point to both rest and play or go to a nearby hotel to make it easier. Here are more staycation ideas and tips for enjoying a staycation.
Few people talk about having a placation, but it’s a great idea: stay home, but make it fun! The difference between a staycation and a playcation is that staycations tend to focus more on resting and relaxing, while playcations are for — you guessed it — fun! With the hard work and stressful routines that characterize many people’s lifestyles, it’s important to have some fun (like Billy Crystal did to ‘get his smile back’ in the classic movie City Slickers) as a way to recharge your batteries and be sure you’re enjoying life. You can devote several days to taking a playcation, or just be sure you pepper in some fun on a regular basis.