Did you know that you can get sick simply for not taking a break at work? We know how difficult it is for a business owner to “switch off” work for some time. There is always something that needs doing and the thought of stepping away is never welcome. Most times, you may not even realize you have been working without rest for a whole week owing to the amount of workload you may be facing.
Taking a break from work need not be an expensive trip to Hawaii or Disney World (although either is still a wonderful idea). You can do something as easy as taking a walk to the park, taking a day off to stay at home and relax, an afternoon at the spa, a few days somewhere nice with your family, or a solo trip to a new place. Or maybe you’re someone who recharges best not by relaxing, but through physical exercise, going out for some boisterous Karaoke, or diving into a new adventurous experience. Whatever your choice, keep your mind off work and focus on your rejuvenation and self-care for the time being.
Signs that you need a break
For the majority of business owners, the need to put in effort to move their business forward weighs heavily on their shoulders. We can relate! You feel the pressure, but ignore it and keep plowing through. So how do you know when it is time to take a break? The danger signs may not be too dramatic, in fact, most times they are subtle, but look out for them, and heed them!
You feel extremely fatigued
Are there days when you wake up but you can’t seem to get out of bed? Are these mornings becoming more frequent? You may realize that even when you get to work, you can’t seem to get much done because you feel tired and sleepy the whole time. This is the number one sign of burnout and a trigger for you to take that break. In some cases, extreme fatigue can even lead to fainting or worse, but you need not wait until that happens for you to take action.
You are very irritable
This is especially noticeable in people who are naturally bubbly or cheery. You may find yourself having less patience with people and situations, and becoming more unpleasant to be around. This may mostly manifest in your overall demeanor, snapping at everyone, not having time to even greet people or share some light talk. Everything seems to be done wrong, and you keep finding small faults in people or things and making a huge deal out of them. When things get this crazy, please take some time out to rest.
Slow or dead brain
Ever worked with an awfully slow computer? It does not process or perform tasks fast enough; and is very frustrating. When you are at your tether’s end, your body also takes on the stance of a very slow computer. You will find yourself forgetting even the simplest of things and overall feeling very confused and unable to focus. Once this starts happening you should definitely slow down and take a breather off work.
You may need to be at the office to get your work done, but you find yourself unable to get out of bed because your head hurts, or you are down with the flu for the umpteenth time. When you overwork yourself or go too long without taking a break, you wear down your body’s immunity. After a while, your body is likely to throw in the towel and you will find yourself getting sick a little too often, especially with colds, coughs, and the flu. This points at a deeper problem; your body is begging for a rest!
Why is it important to take a break?
We’ve shared a number of warning signs and it’s fairly easy to see what will happen if you ignore them. Is the pull of your business still too strong?
You may be thinking that stepping away from your business is a costly mistake and could lead to business losses. You probably feel like everything will go wrong if you look away from your business for even one day.
But you couldn’t be further from the truth! There are many great reasons why breaks are important for you, including:
- They interrupt the cycle of stress that usually leads to being overwhelmed and burnout.
- That feeling of fatigue will ebb once you take your break, and even your doctor will be happy!
- They help the body recover from stress which can, in turn, restore your energy and mental wellbeing which then translates to better output at work. After a break, work can resume with more energy and motivation.
- They give you a better perspective and help you chart better paths forward for your business. It has always been a lot easier to see the bigger picture when you’re standing back from it. In the same way a writer steps away from their novel to look at it with fresh eyes the next morning, changing your environment will make you notice fresh details about your business when you come back.
- They make you more creative and productive. Breaks clear your mind and refresh your body systems, and once that is done, you will be in a better shape to think, create and deliver more.
- They give you a great work-life balance. Your life is definitely not only about making money. It is also about spending time with your family and friends, and nurturing those bonds. Once you go on regular breaks, you will be able to reconnect with your loved ones and maintain those ties, and that is great for your soul!
Is there something you’re struggling with in your business at the moment? Something you can’t quite put your finger on? You can probably almost touch it but for the life of you it is not coming to the fore, right? That just means it is time for you to pause and recharge!
We don’t mean you stop all your business operations during your break; you can always make arrangements for things to keep flowing when you are away. Guess what, your business can live without you for a few days.
In our tip How to make a successful content marketing plan for your business, for example, we show you just how you can keep your audience engaged even when you are away. This will allow you to enjoy your break, recharge, and come back ready to take on the world!
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Are you ready to take a pause and reset your body? We hope so! Happy Thanksgiving!
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