Many of us hold the belief that great leaders and high performing individuals work harder and longer than everyone else and don’t take time off. Research demonstrates that workplace performance improves after people take rest periods and recovery, even if the work being done was enjoyable and not causing significant stress.
Here are some great ‘pause’ ideas;
1. Pause to Write
Writing is a great way to develop self-awareness and sort through the clutter in our minds. Writing can remove mental blocks, uncover patterns in our thoughts and behaviours, and shift our mindset from negative to positive.
2. Pause to Read
Reading is also a great way to whisk your mind away to another place, as long as you aren’t reading something related to your work! It is far more effective than switching on the TV to switch off because reading requires your imagination to kick into gear and that enables your mind to take a much-needed break.
3. Pause to be Creative
When was the last time you explored your creativity? Whether it is getting out the paintbrush and canvas or colouring in a mindfulness book, getting lost in a creative activity is a fun and beautiful way to take a pause.
4. Pause to Move
We all know the benefits of exercise. Taking an exercise pause can be as simple as going for a walk or as intense as doing a full-on workout. Walking is a great way to get a change of scenery. Stretching or doing a workout is great for your circulation, especially if you have been sitting for a long period of time.
5. Pause to Unplug
Being connected 24/7 can make you feel as though you’re always on and it is tempting to respond to messages or notifications that come up on your devices. Take a break from screens, turn off your notifications, and put your phone down to recharge your own batteries.
6. Pause to Rest
Sleep is one of the most commonly overlooked performance boosters. In fact, getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep is the number one risk factor for burnout. Seven to nine hours of sleep each night is ideal, although it is not always possible. If you feel like you need an energy boost, try pausing to take a 20 minute power nap to restore your mind and body.
7. Pause with Paws
This past year, more people than ever have given a home to a furry friend. Taking a dog for a walk is a wonderful way to clear your head, engage your senses, and bring you into the present moment. If dogs are not your thing and you have other pets at home, take the time to pause with them and notice how present they are.
I encourage you to be brave and put yourself first. Take the time to press pause on your day and on life. When you rest and recover, you will find yourself achieving more.