As the leaves turn and Halloween approaches, I am reminded that the joyful winter holidays, along with all the associated stress and planning, will soon be here.
I’m thinking that is it a great time for a break, which is one of my 5 recommended stress remedies.
Note: Here’s an audio version if you’d prefer to listen to this article instead:
Do you find that it is hard to take a break?
Considering busy work & school schedules, activities with and for kids, it can be difficult enough to find time to shop for groceries and get in a work-out, let alone take a break.
I for one have been teased for not being able to relax. So I’ve had to figure out how to take a break – knowing that is a great way to restore healthy cortisol levels and improve immune function.
I wanted to share with you a few ways that I figured out to take a break, as a mom, a doctor and business owner.
- Ella and I love to take a walk in the evening. Sometimes we put her bicycle on my car and take it over to one of our favorite parks, Frank Melville Memorial Park in Setauket, NY. The path in the park encircles a pond, which is dotted with ducks and swans busy taking care of themselves. There is a picture-perfect water mill and a bridge with families often posing for photographers. The walk around the park takes but 15 minutes, and always finishes with a sense of calm.
- For me, sometimes taking a break means getting away, even to a conference. While some people (my sister included) would not count a conference as a break, it is exactly the kind of break I need. I get to enjoy lectures on subjects of interest to me between well-planned meals and conversations with colleagues. Sometimes time away from the hustle around home—shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc—is the perfect time to rejuvenate.
- I also find, as simple as it sounds, that some of my best breaks happen when I have a few minutes to myself. Some of my favorites include taking a shower, petting my cats, watering plants, and watching a sunset. And funny enough, in those moments alone I find a sense of connection with others – all of which is know to help reduce stress.
It is important to keep in mind that taking a break is different for each person – what is a break for you may be different then a break for me.
Check in and ask yourself, what do you need?
- What do you notice about the way you feel – your mood, digestion, sleep and energy – after taking a break?
- How might you integrate mini-breaks into each day?
I’d love to hear about your favorite ways to take a break – please send me a note.
And if you didn’t realize it already—reading this article was a way to take a break too!
Warm wishes to you,