Tired? Exhausted? Worn down? There’s a lot of that going around lately.
A couple of years ago, you might have guessed that an increase in “staying home” and canceled plans over an extended period of time would lead to an increase in rest and relaxation. That’s not what my totally unscientific and completely anecdotal research has determined, however.
The reality of working from home, homeschooling, and trying to cope with the uncertainties of the world have taken their toll on many of us. When you work from home, you might feel like you live at work.
One simple idea that can elude someone trying to check all the boxes and perform all of their roles well is to be intentional about taking breaks. This isn’t an earth-shattering concept here, but if you’re feeling worn out, audit how often you actually give yourself a break during the day.
If you power through your day, more often than not reacting to all of the inputs coming your way, and never pausing for more than a few minutes at a time, no wonder you’re beat. My suggestion: Prioritize taking at least one rejuvenating break each day. Here are a few ways to make that break worthwhile.
If you’re someone who can take a 20-minute power nap and wake rejuvenated and ready to tackle the second half of your day, by all means, make it happen. Set up your napping space with light-blocking curtains, a sound machine, and a comforting blanket; inform the people around you when you’re not to be disturbed, or time it with your young children’s naps; set a gentle alarm to ensure you don’t sleep through dinnertime; toss guilt aside for indulging in what may turn out to be a productivity booster.
Much of our exhaustion comes from the overload of noise and messages we receive from countless sources all day. Taking a few minutes to tune the noise and quiet your mind can do wonders in reducing anxiety and maintaining a calm state.
Lace up those shoes and head out the door for a walk in the sunshine. If you want to get the most out of this break, you’ll leave your phone at home. Soak up the sights of your neighborhood, revel in the beauty of nature all around you, turn your face toward the sun, breathe the fresh air, and allow your body to benefit from the movement it needs daily. It’s amazing how a simple walk can shift your perspective in all the right ways.
Are you eating at your desk while you’re working or simply grabbing food from your children’s plate of leftovers? Try setting a few minutes aside to sit down and enjoy a healthy lunch each day. A colorful salad, a cup of soup, or a simple sandwich can be enjoyed and focused on singularly if you make the time for it. Slow down, appreciate the food you’re enjoying, step away from the task list, and make it a fruitful break.
Enjoy a Cuppa
The quintessential break is the coffee break, yet how often are you taking advantage of a few minutes to step away from the grind and enjoy your beverage of choice? Pencil in an intentional break to sit, sip, reflect, and unwind.
Carving out time in your day for spiritual renewal may be just the thing to get to the root of the exhaustion. Whether peacefully reading, praying, journaling, or taking in some inspirational wisdom online—connect to your core values and what’s most fundamental in your life. Nurturing your spirit is the antidote to the worry and the busyness that so many are struggling with today.