Rough can be an understatement when it comes to our obligations. School or work often take up the biggest chunks of our days. After going to class, there’s homework, studying, projects, papers, and maybe even extracurriculars. For those of us that work, we sometimes bring even more work into our homes after the day at the office is over. We constantly monitor our emails or maybe stress out over our side hustle. Maybe you’re even going to school while working part-time or full-time. On top of that, there’s family, friends, relationships, and errands to tend to. It’s like there’s never enough time in a day just for you!
That’s why some folks tend to take a day (or maybe two or even a few) off of work or school to just take a break. You can do it too! No, you won’t be committing a moral crime (However, timing is everything. We also know that not everyone can take a break—more on that later.) In fact, taking a break can be good for you. Time off from work or school will give your body and mind a chance to reset and bounce back from all the stress, so that you can come back more relaxed and focused. That’s why vacation days and school breaks exist – everyone needs a little time to recharge.
You need that relaxation in order for you to feel happier and more productive, both in and out of the workplace. In turn, that happiness and productivity can benefit your teams and your managers. “When we’re worn out, we can lose our patience and perspective, which can lead to poor performance and poor communication—nothing your boss rates high on the list of employee attributes,” women’s career coach Kathy Caprino told Shape. So there’s definitely a bigger cause to root for when it comes to taking a break—it’s not just about you!
When you think “day off,” you may think about binge-watching Netflix and eating your favorite snacks. While those things may be fun and may make you feel more relaxed, it’s better to indulge in healthier activities. Suggestions include a few more hours of sleep, exercise, meditation, spa day, arts and crafts, or spending time with a family member or friend. Basically, think about what makes you feel less anxious and make it part of your plan.
It’s important to be mindful when thinking about taking your break from work or school. You definitely don’t want to do it when a project deadline is nearing or when midterms or finals are up ahead. Try to take your time off after these things occur or when your schedule isn’t filled with critical events.
Finally, we know that not everyone can afford to take time off from a job or taking classes, for financial reasons and others. If you are not able to do so, remember to find time for yourself in other ways. Take some time to meditate in between homework assignments, or take a walk around the park during your lunch break. There are always opportunities to keep yourself sane and centered—don’t be afraid to take them. You need them, and you deserve them!
(Feature image via @claracvega)