By: Heather Lielmanis
At Fitneff, we have been examining the importance of incorporating movement into our daily lives, both at home and at work. We are inspired by the progress that is being made, both by individuals and by employers, in achieving better health, all while maintaining productivity. And, we are proud that our products, such as the Walk TopTM Treadmill Desk and the sit-stand desk, allow people to achieve this goal.
However, we recognize that achieving this balance between healthy living and a meaningful, productive life takes a lot of effort. These themselves very lofty goals, and yet, they are only a fraction of what makes up a full life for most individuals. Add this to family (which can include a spouse, kids and in some cases, aging parents), personal interests, a social life and the demands of society, and frankly, life can get quite overwhelming.
This is why it is so important to remember to take a break every once in a while. Depending upon your circumstances, an afternoon, a weekend or a full two-week vacation can all be effective in allowing you to step away from the daily grind and recharge. While this might sound simple, it isn’t always so easy to do. Here are some ideas to help you plan, and then enjoy, a little bit of time for yourself.
Plan Your Break
Whether it is an afternoon or a week away, in order for a break to be effective, it must truly be a break from the everyday. Make a plan for your break; an afternoon at the park, a night away or a week at a resort. Put it in your calendar. Find an activity that will allow you to truly get away from your daily routine, whether it is at home or at the office. Schedule the block of time, but try to be flexible with how you spend that time. Knowing that you have a Saturday that is free of commitments, but without a plan, will allow you to be open to any of a number of activities you might not otherwise come across.
Choose your Partner
A break from your hectic daily schedule may be an opportunity to spend time with someone you don’t regularly see. If you and your partner find yourselves passing like ships in the night, you may wish to plan to get away together. Alternately, you may prefer to make plans to catch up with an old friend, which for me is always theraputic. Sometimes, a break from the responsibilities of taking care of others may in order. If you have kids, find childcare that you can trust, and that will allow you to keep your mind off the kids so that you can focus on other activities for a change. Sometimes, a break may even mean spending time alone. If you don’t do this often, you might find you enjoy the opportunity to be alone with your thoughts and to reconnect with yourself.
With the omnipresence of smartphones, and having everything we need at our finger tips, it is easy to feel that we need to be connected at all times. Even quickly checking in with the office before heading to bed can fill our minds with tomorrow’s tasks and make it difficult to sleep. When we step away from work, whether it is for the weekend, or for a longer vacation, it is important to fully unplug. Let everyone know that you will be unavailable, and resist the urge to check emails. If you must be available, give your number to one person only, and insist that that person only contact you in the event of a work emergency.
It can also be therapeutic to unplug from social media from time to time. Again, thanks to smartphones, it is easy to open social media apps multiple times per day; in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, in line at the grocery store, while sitting on the subway. Give yourself a mental break from the constant updates and headlines. Leave your phone behind, or even consider removing the social media apps from your phone altogether.
Invigorate Your Body and Mind
For many people, taking a break means resting on the beach or the sofa. However, consider finding something invigorating that you don’t always have the chance to do. Get outside into nature. Walk in the rain. Take a fitness class or try sport that you’ve never done, but always intended to try (I am particularly interested in picking up a tennis racquet after many years away). Go to a museum or a concert. Enjoy a meal at a restaurant that you’ve never tried.
At the end of the day, your break should be a departure from your regular schedule. When you return to normal life, you will want to feel refreshed, renewed and invigorated. Make the most of your time away and if possible, find a way to bring elements of your break back into your daily routine. You may find that you like not having social media available at your finger tips. You may enjoy it so much that maybe, just maybe, regular breaks will become a part of your everyday life.
Heather Lielmanis is the VP of Business Development at Fitneff Inc. Fitneff is dedicated to providing innovative products and solutions that help busy people make their productive time more active. Fitneff offers a full suite of walking desks, sit-stand desks and active accessories that allow you to incorporate movement into your work day.