Congratulations on surviving the pandemic so far! You have either kept or landed a new job this year. You probably are still struggling to find a job and that is worth applauding too. But have you taken care of yourself by giving yourself a proper break? The changing nature of the world of work post-pandemic has led to individuals doing whatever it takes to survive that they often forget to slow down and recuperate. If you are among those who forsake taking a break over fear of sacrificing productivity, you may just end up having a burnout, hence becoming counterproductive.
Human body is built to react to brief bursts of stress. When stress lasts for a long time and the response is enabled on a frequent basis, eventually the situation becomes chronic. Such a condition can happen in a high-stress and demanding work environment, often resulting in arising health issues. Research showed that chronic stress can make you more prone to diseases including headaches and gastrointestinal problems, as well as high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
When You Need to Seriously Take a Break
It is really easy for stress to creep up on you. You might not even realize you are on the verge of becoming overwhelmed and burned out. Since everyone reacts to stress differently, the indicators of being overwhelmed are likewise extremely distinctive. However, here are several sign alerts that apply in the vast majority of situations, according to Verywellmind:
Although some of these signs can simply be a minor inconvenience that disappears quickly, you should watch out if they happen prolonged or continuously. Start making plans for some downtime if you have been feeling one or more of the symptoms above.
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How to Actually Relax
The ultimate question remains, how to relax and take a break? For freelancers, doing this may actually be easier, since they have a more flexible working pace with no direct supervision. However, the case can be different with full-time employees. If you work in the office and have particular working hours, here are some suggestions for getting your breaks in.
Take a Full Break during Lunch Time
Making lunch work-free each day is a simple approach to fit that time into the constraints of a fixed working day. One easy way to take a break amidst a hectic office schedule is taking a full break during lunch time. Take your lunch somewhere else other than your working desk. Although this seems menial, having your lunch break in your working space may give you the illusion of not getting any break at the time you deserve one. For example, in Talentvis representative office of Indonesia, employees are encouraged to go downstairs, away from their work desk, every lunch time so they can enjoy lunch while watching Netflix together.
Unplug at Home
The always-on culture has made people hooked on their job all the time. It is time for you to try to take a break, completely apart from work. During the weekend or when you are not at work and have free time, take advantage of it and unplug. Working on weekends when you do not actually have to will only take away your happiness. If you are working at the office, try your best to not bring your work to home or bedroom. There is no job worth having if you do not have a life outside of it. Do not let your job take over your personal life to the point that you are still haunted by that monthly report in a place you should rest the most.
Keep a Separate Internet Experience
Seeing your laptop or PC and being reminded of work all the time, even when you want to simply play a game, can hinder you from actually relaxing. If you are working with a laptop or a gadget, try to keep a separated browser between work and personal life. For example, use Microsoft Edge exclusively for work related browsing and use Safari or Google Chrome exclusively for entertainment, workload free. The latest update of Windows 11 enables users to even keep a separate desktop for different purposes, find out more about the feature here.
Take Screen Break Whenever Possible
You might be tempted to check your email during your day-off, but really, you should never do that. Instead, go outdoors and take a stroll. If you do not fancy exercise walk or jogging, window shopping at your nearest mall will do. Doing so will have a better effect on your health, since prolonged screen time may negatively affect your vision. Even if you do not get the “aha!” moment you are hoping for right away, taking a pause will make you more likely to have a creative breakthrough afterwards.
Living a completely stress-free life would allow for optimal productivity, but no individuals will ever be able to do so. The most viable thing to do is perform these daily stress-busting routines into your day. Taking a break requires far more than power nap or HR pep talk. This is not an extravagance; it is a must-have to stay sane. So, instead of feeling bad about taking a break from work, feel good about it.
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