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Benefits of Taking Regular Breaks

While we may feel as though we cannot afford to take a break from work, experts agree that we cannot afford not too. Behavioural Scientist, Tony Muganza wrote last year in the 99FM MYD Smart article, Why I Should Take a Break, “Human brains do not have a reserve power and energy pool. For this reason one soon feels burnout! Breaking away is a natural “fire extinguisher” that puts off that which burns from the inside.”

Life Coach and Public Speaker Nabukenya Muwonge writes from her own experience why taking a break is good for your health and your business.

The Benefits of Taking Regular Breaks – by Nabukenya Muwonge

If you are an overly committed, overly ambitious workaholic like myself, then the only time you realise that your body is in fact not invincible and does indeed need a break, is when it decides to crash. The number of times I have ambitiously planned to work evenings and weekends thinking my mind could trick my body into going on, only to pass out for some much needed rest is too embarrassing to admit. Furthermore this tendency led to a slightly more serious result later during the year – burnout. For this reason, it’s important to take a moment and reflect on the benefits of rest.

Forcing your body to power through occasionally is perfectly fine, but making it a habit can lead to burn out, which is not quite simple to reverse. The benefits of rest are numerous including better concentration and memory; better ability to handle stress; several health benefits such as a boosted immune system, and a better mood overall.

Insufficient rest or a sleep debt will not cause burn out, but it will contribute to if it happens over an extended period of time. But what exactly is burn out? Burn out is a state of chronic stress which occurs over time and leads to physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. Over achievers; people occupying care giving roles; and even parents can experience burn out. In this state, feelings of cynicism, detachment and irritability are also high.

At this stage, you are unlikely to be effective at anything because you are simply too exhausted. Recovering from burn out is a slow process.

To achieve a more balanced lifestyle start by reassessing your priorities and reducing your commitments. Then getting exercise, adequate rest, taking time off from work to recuperate and developing healthier habits to prevent it from reoccurring.

For more on the benefits of taking a break, read

  • Jobacle’s The Importance of Taking a Break From Work, by clicking here
  • Huffington Post’s 5 Science backed ways taking a break boosts our productivity by clicking here
  • Health Ambition also has a comprehensive article on how to have a productive active rest day. Read it here.