We live our lives lurching from mini-break to mini-break, from this holiday to the next.
Life carries such an intensity now. We’re all exhausted, we’re all stressed.
We know that it’s not good for us; we know we’re unwell.
But we carry on anyway.
All around us are messages for us to stop, to slow down. But who has the time to do that?
Every time we stop, it seems to create more havoc than it brings peace and calm.
The reality for most of us is this: stopping causes us to crash and burn with illness and heightens our stress, because we step into worrying about what’s going on, what we’re missing out on. Or, we worry about what’s waiting for us when we return.
It’s a spiral that’s never ending … and one that never has a good outcome for us.
We cling to the thought of a break as if it will be our saviour.
All around us, we watch people claw their way from one break to the next, reminding themselves that they only have to hold on until they’re free for a short period of time.
Yet we find ourselves living in exactly the same way.
We can’t take breaks that are long enough for us to refuel our energy tanks, and the reality is that we spend most of the time that we’re ‘free’ worrying and stressing about things that are out of our control.
It’s hard for us to stand still; we have to have every second highly scheduled. If we don’t keep moving then the true state of our health and wellbeing might have time to catch us up.
Does stopping really provide us the salvation we so desperately need?
Why do we cling to the thought of a break? Why is an escape from our life the only solution we look towards?
If our experience of a break is that we’re either sick or just as stressed as if we’re in the workplace, why do we want to have one so desperately?
What do we gain from moving our stress from one location to another? Where is the benefit to us in sitting around and worrying about what’s happening in a place we’re supposed to be taking a break from?
Are you taking a break for your health and wellbeing, or are you simply procrastinating?
If you’re taking a break, only to collapse with the latest bug, cold or flu, or to spend your time experiencing just as much stress as you do when you aren’t on a break, then it could be argued that you’re not really taking time out to focus on your health.
It’s more likely that you’ll use the time away from the workplace to procrastinate and ignore the things you really need to focus on.
There’s a big difference between taking time for self-care and stealing time to sit in procrastination.
So, what do you really need?
The biggest factor that will determine whether you can enjoy time off will be where your health is at when you start a break.
Instead of focusing on clinging on by your fingernails and forcing yourself forwards each day until you can get to a break, maybe it’s time to consider doing things a little bit differently, so that your health and wellbeing are supported ALL the time.
That way, when you get to your breaks you’ll be in a better state to relax and enjoy your time away.
It sounds like a simple solution – and it can be, if you focus on taking small and practical steps each day that start to turn your life in a direction that better supports your health.
One of the best places to start is in understanding where your stress comes from.
Stress comes from more than just your workload or your workplace. It comes from lots of different places in life, and our stress load is unique to each of us.
Once you know where your stress is coming from, you can start to put in place practical and easy to implement steps that will help you to reduce the stress you experience.
The less stress you are under, the easier it will be for you to sleep and the more energy you will have. These two things alone have been shown to better support your immune system, which in turn makes it easier for you to be healthier and less susceptible to catching all the bugs and flus.
Put yourself in a place where your health and wellbeing is being looked after every day and you’ll experience your time off very differently.
Will you give yourself the opportunity to experience life in a different way?
Want more info on ways you can work out what it is YOU need right now to start reducing your stress? There are loads of tips and practical information to help you work out what’s perfect for you in my books – you can buy your copy by clicking here.
You can also find loads of practical and easily implemented steps in the articles and videos in my FREE email series – it’s a great way to help you begin your journey. Simply click here to start you on your way.
This article first appeared on Prosperi Press in November 2020. You can read the article by clicking here.