Photo credit: Hamed Saber

What does it mean to you – to give yourself a break?

Does it mean take a holiday to an exotic tropical island where you are waited on, hand and foot, and have nothing to do but soak in some sun and relax?

Does it mean take a day off from work to recharge your batteries, like read a good book, or binge on your favourite TV show?

Does it mean not being so hard on yourself?  Maybe arguing back with your internal critic for a change?

In whatever way you define taking a break, the benefits to doing so to your health and wellbeing are enormous. 

Taking a break means prioritising self-care in whatever way nourishes your soul.  It could be taking a holiday, going to the hair dresser, doing a dance class, art class, or yoga, meditation, deep breathing, laughing with a friend, or visualising a happy place.  “Stress mode” cannot coexist with “relaxation mode”, so find a way to relax and take a break.

Some people may feel that they are being selfish when they prioritise their own care over other things that need doing.  Try thinking of self-care in the same way as the safety demonstration in an aeroplane.  You need to put your oxygen mask on before the masks of those around you, because how can you help anyone if you’ve passed out!  Making sure you are looked after, relaxed, and healthy means you can give more to others through your energy levels and positivity. 

You could also try recognising and acknowledging your limitations.  Reach out to others and ask for help.  Take things one step at a time.  Move at your own pace.  Listen to messages from your body telling you to look after yourself.

What advice would you give to a friend who said they needed a break?  Would you tell them to toughen up and get on with it?  Or would you listen to them, encourage them, and find ways to help them?  Start treating yourself as you would a friend.

If you’d like some more ideas, we love this blog from Tiny Buddha with 40 ways to give yourself a break.  http://tinybuddha.com/blog/40-ways-to-give-yourself-a-break/

“When you give yourself a break, you create space. Allowing things to be, just as they are, without judgment or expectation, gives you room to breathe. And that is good for clarity. You may find things start to get better, if you let them.” Sarah Rouse – Tiny Buddha

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