Why taking a break from work is important if you want to improve your well being and become more productive

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal. (By Paulo Coelho)

“I can’t believe that two weeks have passed since I came for vacation,” said Mark with a sparkle in his eyes.  “I feel so energized and ready to go back to work”. This happened recently, when I bumped into Mark at the supermarket, a day before the end of his vacation.

I remember looking at him and thinking, “This is not the same haggard person I had met two weeks earlier, when he had just arrived in the county to start his vacation”.  Mark is a friend of many years who now works abroad, and usually comes home whenever he has short breaks from work.

Within just two weeks, Mark had transformed from looking exhausted, to looking vibrant and full of life.  “That is the power of taking a break from work,” I said to myself—thinking aloud.

From our discussions, Mark and I concluded that the best time to take a break from work is when you feel overwhelmed, you start making small mistakes, you feel sluggish during the day, you become irritable, and when you do not feel motivated.  Simply put, it is called having a burnout.  A burnout occurs when you have a physical and mental collapse, that is attributed by overwork and stress.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. (By St. Augustine)

So what is the way forward should you get a burnout—or when you are about to get a burnout—due to working non-stop to meet deadlines?  The best solution is to take a break from work.  You could either plan ahead, as a way of ensuring that you do not burst your budget, and are able to organize all the necessary logistics.  Or randomly, depending with how serious the situation is.

There are many options to choose from when taking a break from work.  For example, taking a day or two to have total rest, three days to stay home to rest and engage in activities not related to work that you enjoy doing, go out of town to visit loved ones during a long weekend, or taking a week or two to go on vacation.  The list is endless.

To wrap up the discussion on why it is important to take a break from work, Mark and I settled on the benefits listed below:

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    In the end we only regret the chances we did not take. (Source unknown)

    Health benefits. Taking a break from work makes you feel relaxed and happy.  As a result, you gain a sense of renewed confidence to move forward and tackle life with a positive energy.

  • Improves your personal relationship with family and friends. Depending with who you choose to spend time with during your break from work, the time spent together creates a bond.  The experience shared also increases families’ and friends’ connectedness.
  • Increases your level of productivity. Just think about how you feel when you are tired. Don’t you feel like your mind loses the ability to concentrate, and you become slow in performing tasks?  By taking a break from work, your body is able to rest and your mind clears, making you feel energized and alert when performing the tasks at hand.