Woo Sah: Why You Need a Break
3/25/2013 11:56:00 AM
Real talk, just last week I flew off the handle over something so small. At the moment, it seemed so major but looking back, I know my moment of rage was simply because I was worn out. When I get to work I am on the go non-stop – even without a break to rejuvenate. With this kind of gig, breaks are not “formal”, you know? I eat in between songs, go to the restroom during a commercial and come back in the studio. But whenever possible, you should take a moment.
Back in 2010, a report found one in four people work all day without taking a break which is putting them at risk of serious health problems including back pain, obesity and depression. More than half of the 3,000 people polled by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists said they went to work when feeling unwell or stressed. A quarter took no lunch break at all. The main reason for overwork was because employees were overwhelmed with tasks or there were not enough staff in their organization to cover workloads. Sound familiar? Health experts say working long hours and being stuck at a desk all day posed 'serious risks' to well-being. They said this could lead to huge costs for employers as poor working practices increased the risk of chronic musculoskeletal disorders, such as ongoing back pain.
No matter what the issue is, one thing is certain. Taking a break at work is critical but taking one outside of work and everything else is just as important. I told you about my mini explosion last week and it was the result of being tired, rushed, and hurried and doing too much. How fitting is it just when I think it’s going down, I get my weekly inbox from life coach, Valorie Burton. Her topic? 6 Signs That You Need a Break! I almost broke out into a holy dance, for this is a word in season for me. Peep what Coach Val has to say:
1. You are busy, but not productive.
You're doing stuff, just not the most important stuff. You're moving, but not progressing. If that's you, take a break. Refocus. Restart.
2. You are irritable, even when nothing particularly stressful is happening.
If your attitude at work is always sour no matter what, there's something simmering beneath the surface. Anger - including the quiet, passive-aggressive type - is usually a sign that a boundary has been crossed. Resentment emerges when we don't speak up, ask for help or make a change.
3. You just accomplished a big goal.
Research shows that our energy is depleted after the accomplishment of a big goal. We are more effective at future goals when we give our minds and bodies a chance to recover so that our energy is replenished for the next big task at hand. Just finished a major project? Celebrate. Relax. Rejuvenate. Then move on to the next big thing.
4. Your body hurts.
Your body will give you warning signs. Don't ignore them. Chronic back or neck pain, headaches and fatigue are just a few of the ways your body is trying to talk to you. Listen. If you don't, there could be consequences soon.
5. You’re dreaming about work.
If you are dreaming about projects, deadlines and that pesky co-worker, it's a definite sign that some down time is overdue.
6. You haven't had a break in a while.
Even if you don't have any of the five signs that came before this one, you still need regular breaks. If you haven't taken one recently, get busy! Or rather, do the opposite. Ten minutes every couple of hours a day of down time every week, and a vacation or personal days for fun time every few months will make you far more productive than working nonstop. And you'll be happier, too.
Our lives may be full but need to be filled with purpose. We can’t fulfill our purpose if we are simply going through the motions, fatigued and anticipating what is next on our list. Take heed to the advice given and take time out for you. Your health depends on it.
For more life coaching strategies from Valorie Burton or to get info on her books and seminars, please go to her site here.