Is it time for a break?

LabradorFor more than one reason taking a break from your usual schedule, as well as from technology, can be beneficial to your health.

Taking a break makes it possible to connect with others, which has been shown to reduce stress and add years to your life.

Research indicates that women are more likely to connect with friends, but that it is beneficial for both men and women.

The thing is that connecting via technology doesn’t count.

While it may seem that you are more connected, technology can actually distract you from connecting in person, and truly being present.

Learn more about how devices are changing the way we connect in this TED talk by Sherry Turkle, a professor at MIT. And about a movie coming out in April called Disconnect.

Just as for so many people, I find it particularly difficult to take a break and to disconnect from technology. And yet when I do, I can feel the difference right away.

I recently peeled myself away from my office for Spring break with Ella, and what a fun time we had traveling together, spending time with friends, family and pets, in nature and with each other. We met Hausley, the dog pictured above, whose collar says “I am a therapy dog,” reminding us that connecting with dogs reduces stress too.

How do you feel when you take a break?

Notice your mood, sleep, energy, focus, digestion, immune function and hormones (what I refer to as the “pillars of wellness”) – even your relationship to food (appetite and cravings) can change.

Which means that taking a break allows you to not only connect with others in a real way, but also with yourself.

Hoping you have a lovely break sometime soon.

–Dr. Doni