Why Regular Breaks are Essential to Avoiding Burnout

Burnt out puppy taking a break

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Take A Break?

I’ve had a lot of motivation to keep up with and improve my blog lately, and I have tons of idea’s for new posts, but…

Today, I sat down to write out one of my ideas, and I couldn’t get passed the first sentence. I wasn’t quite sure why, because I didn’t feel like I was having writers block – I felt really good about the idea, and I had the motivation to get it written down.

After staring at the blank page for several minutes, I decided to put it off for a bit. I went back to work (writing ad copy) and didn’t think much of it. As time went on, however, I started noticing how much my brain was fighting me about writing even the simplest of ads for work. For some reason, I just wasn’t feeling it.

Often times, when I feel like I’m getting burnt out with writing ad copy, I’ll take a break and do something mindless to give my brain a rest. But lately, I’ve been using my rest time to brainstorm for my blog, and even start writing out some posts (like I was planning to do today).

Recognizing that I desperately needed a break, and knowing that the blog post still wasn’t going to happen, I decided to take out my pens and do some doodling. As I was sitting there, giving my mind it’s much needed rest, suddenly it hit me; I’m totally burnt out.

It doesn’t matter how many ideas I have, or how motivated I’m feeling, if I don’t give my mind and body time to rest, then I won’t be able to produce anything – for work or play!

Why We Need Breaks

Rest is so important and as someone who partakes in many activities that requires my mind to be on, I need to give my mind permission to turn off sometimes too.

I’ve been been burning the candle at both ends lately: between writing copy full time at work, freelancing part time, and blogging whenever I can.  That’s why I wasn’t able to write my blog post earlier. It’s also why my mind was fighting with me about work today. I’m completely burnt out. (And yet, despite this realization, here I am, writing this blog post. I’m like a child Who needs to be forced to go to bed, because all I want to do was stay up and play).

The point is, no matter how badly you want something, and no matter how motivated you’re feeling, it’s important to give yourself the rest you need — to take a break form time to time — because without rest, doing anything can become difficult, even if it’s something you love.

I think that the one place where this probably applies for most people is work. Our employers expect so much of us these days. If it isn’t 110%, it simply isn’t good enough, and it’s burning us out. When you give that much of yourself to anything, eventually, your productivity will start to slow.

Give yourself the breaks you need. Whether its a 10 minute walk once after every 4 hours or work, taking some time to doodle at your desk for a few minutes here and there, watching a funny video online, or whatever! Just do it.  Your health, your wellbeing, and your job performance depend on it.

After all, we’re only human, and we do have our limits. I think that today, I have discovered a few more of my own.

Time to give myself a break.

What are your limits and how do you know when you’ve reached them? Have you ever noticed yourself struggling with everyday things as a result of being burnt out? What sort of things do you like to do to give yourself a break? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

 

Photo Credit to Andrew Branch

2 thoughts on “Why Regular Breaks are Essential to Avoiding Burnout

    1. I have now! Very interesting. It makes total sense. AS someone who spends a lot of time working, I definitely understand the importance of giving yourself some real rest. I actually just wrote up a post (scheduled for Friday) about how I am a workaholic. It contrasts slightly from this post and focuses more on why I work so hard.

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