After reading this blog’s title, most of us would have thought, “yeah, this is a no-brainer”. But the fact is, not many of us even realise when we are overworked, close to burnout and in desperate need of a break.
In 2011, I was overworked and struggling professionally, my personal life was dragging its feet, and I did not even realise this. Luckily for me, my friends were planning a month-long trip around South-East Asia and forced me to go with them. No matter how much I said NO!
And so I went. It was the best thing I ever did in my life (until then).
When I came back, I was almost a completely different man. I felt like I wanted to go swimming with sharks and skydiving, and within the year, I was a married man (what does that tell you?). I wanted to do something that pushed me professionally and personally, and all this happened because I went on a break I did not know I needed.
The following are four reasons why I feel it is essential to take a break from work (or school).
No matter how much we love what we are doing, our jobs will add stress to our lives. Those lucky enough to do something you love might not even realise that some form of work stress is still always added to your lives. Then there is personal stress of managing the family, the kids, school work, etc. We have covered managing stress in a number of our previous blogs.
Taking a break from the daily grind of life can help you get away from the routine of life, giving you the time needed to reflect on your life and the choices you have made. But even if you don’t reflect on your life choices, don’t underestimate the power of relaxing your mind and letting it go blank.
Between work, family and being stuck in traffic (or since the coronavirus, being stuck at home), there is no time. Or at least that is the excuse most of us use for not exercising. Having a healthy body goes hand-in-hand with having a healthy mind. Taking a break might just help you kick start your physical system, reminding your body that it needs to be exercised.
One of the countries we went to on our break in 2011 was Cambodia, and my God, just walking around the temples in Siem Reap felt like a year’s worth of exercise. So you don’t have to go on nature walks or hiking on your break to get in your physical activity. You could get it from club hopping, swimming, or playing a game with your kids on the beach.
Take advantage of this added physical exertion and try to keep it going once you return to your routine.
Sleep is one of the first things we compromise on when we fall behind on our routine. We always think that we can make up for the loss of sleep at a later time, but chances are bad sleep habits will be cultivated and will become regular sleep habits. Getting optimal rest at night is vital to having an efficient day. I know I am much more motivated to get to work when I have slept well and am a lot more pleasant to be around.
A break is an excellent opportunity to fix your bad sleep habits and to correct and better regulate your sleep cycle.
There are several studies that have shown the correlation between taking a break and an increase in productivity, from being able to sleep better and being in a better mood after vacations to a rise in productivity and less exhaustion. And this proof is necessary because you should never just take someone’s word as fact. But speaking from personal experience, I know that taking breaks improved my productivity. And the break I took in 2011 was a life-changing one for me!
So go on your break. Recharge your cells. And when to get back to your routine, challenge yourself!
If you have taken your break and are ready to challenge yourself and have been thinking about doing a master’s degree, then take a look at our list of programmes and see if we have anything you are interested in doing.
You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on the programme that is right for you, the application process, and details on discounts we might offer.