As humans, occasional retreats are necessary because that is how we get rest, reignite our fire and bounce back with energy to continue on the journey to efficiency and productivity.
However, we sometimes get so engrossed with life and work and personal issues that we refuse to pay attention to our own need to take a break and do nothing but rest and allow your body and mind heal.
So instead, our body and mind revolts and breaks down, screaming and letting us know they need a break.
How do you know you should take a break?
When you begin to experience any of the 8 signs below, you should take a break.
1. You’re watching hours and hours of pet videos at the office during work hours.
Seriously. Maybe it’s cats. Maybe it’s reruns of Bridgerton . Maybe it’s random YouTube videos. The point is, you are no longer focused on your work. What you do seem to care about though, is how to pass the time.
2. You make careless mistakes that shouldn’t have happened.
When you stop caring, you tend to make careless mistakes. You accidentally drop your purse into the trash can at a restaurant. Your emails suddenly contain embarrassing typos. You look like a confused deer when you’re asked for your opinion in a meeting because you weren’t paying attention the whole time. You call a coworker by the wrong name because your brain cannot process their real name.
3. You’re emotionally overwhelmed and sometimes, you cry for no reason.
You’re upset, irritated, angry, frustrated, or sad over what would normally be a small issue. This happens to almost everyone. If you find yourself breaking down emotionally, that might be a good time to consider a break. Maybe it means walking outside for 30 minutes. Maybe it means buying a one-way ticket to Hawaii to lay on the beach and bask in the sun. Maybe it means driving to a resort nearby for a weekend. Take a deep breath, collect yourself, and consider taking a break.
4. You’re always exhausted.
Feeling tired for a day? That’s absolutely normal. Feeling tired for an entire month? That’s definitely not normal. Remember to get enough sleep and to take care of yourself. While it’s great to be hyper productive for a short period of time, it’s usually not worth it in the long term. Pace yourself.
5. You hate waking up for work
The alarm goes off and the first thing you think is “I really don’t want to go to work.” You no longer feel inspired by the company mission. You feel like you can’t make an impact anymore. You feel like you’re going through the motions. It’s time for you to step away. Take a moment for yourself. When you remove yourself from the situation, you allow yourself to think more clearly and to get a fresh perspective on what the next step should be.
6. You’re having trouble falling asleep
You have too much on your mind — that next project, that big deadline, that promotion you’ve always wanted, that coworker who seems like they can’t stand you. If you’re starting to lose sleep over work, it’s time to take a break. If you don’t take the break, the lack of sleep will start to hurt your health and your passion, energy, and focus will start to fade.
7. You’re getting physically sick a lot.
If you’re under a lot of stress, not sleeping well, and working crazy amounts of hours, your immune system is probably under a lot of duress and you’ll likely get sick quite often. Don’t let your physical health go sideways — take some time off and go on a break!
8. You’re dreaming of quitting work with no plan in place
You’ve romanticized the idea of quitting in your head. You have no back-up plan or next steps in place. It’s a clear sign that you’re simply trying to get away. Instead of making a quick decision with huge implications, it may be best to take a short break to see if that’s what you truly want.
If you’re seeing these signs, take a moment, take a step back, and take a break — you’ll be better for it.