Being busy can feel like a badge of honor.
So many of us define ourselves by what we do. This is why we overwork ourselves and get burnt out in the process.
There are plenty of good reasons to give your brain a break.
Did you know that your brain is still active even when you're resting? While you may not be actively working, your brain is still problem solving, sorting, and looking for new information! Amazing right?
There is no virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither. - Alan Cohen
Studies have also shown that purposefully stopping work at the point where you still have some energy left actually makes your work easier and more creative the next day. Leaving a little bit of your work undone "will nudge your mind to continue cogitating without your conscious awareness," which "evens out the highs and lows in creative work, provides a boost to creativity, and buffers against stress" (Greater Good Magazine by UC Berkley).
Research has also found that taking breaks can improve your mood, boost your performance and increase your ability to concentrate and pay attention.
Some forms of rest are particularly effective - sleep, especially REM sleep, allows the body to stock up on energy, repair and replace damaged cells, clean out brain toxins, and process our daily experiences and problems!
Even a 20 minute nap can be helpful for focus and energy.
Given the importance of resting and recharging, here are 5 ways to rest and refresh your brain for better mental and physical health.
This all sounds good on paper, but for most of us, we can find it difficult to add downtime into our busy schedules.
If you’re used to being overscheduled, though, it can be hard to figure out how to let your brain just … be.
Here are 3 ways to take a break when you’re too busy
1. Add downtime into your daily schedule.
2. Set aside a set time each day to worry.
3. Use a mindfulness app to guide you.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. So go ahead and give yourself a break. Your mind will thank you later.
Source: Alex Soojung-Kim Pang for Greater Good Magazine by UC Berkley.