Wisdom//

The Power of Carving Out Time For Small Breaks During the Day

Allowing yourself the space to pause and reset can help you optimize your entire workday.

Rawpixel/ Shutterstock
Rawpixel/ Shutterstock

It’s difficult to do nothing when idle time makes you feel anxious and unproductive. You are apt to avoid the unpleasantness by getting busy again. But change comes when you do something different in the heat of the moment. 

Here’s a mindful relaxation exercise that you can practice for ten to twenty minutes to help you unwind: Sit quietly in a comfortable position with eyes closed. Starting at your feet and progressing up to your face, deeply relax all of your muscles. Pay close attention to your breathing. Breathe in easily and naturally through your nose. As you breathe out through your mouth, say the word chill silently to yourself. As distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them and return to repeating “chill” with each exhalation. 

After you’ve finished, sit quietly for several minutes at first with your eyes closed, then with your eyes slowly opening. Avoid judging yourself based on how successful you were. If possible, practice mindful relaxation once or twice daily.

How often do you hear the refrain, “There’re just not enough hours in a day”? Your need to stretch time as if it’s a rubber band is a reflection of your need to overdo, your inability to accept life on its own terms. Instead you try to push the river instead letting it flow by itself. You try to force more hours than there are into the workday. Your life becomes more manageable when you structure your workdays for only twenty-four hours and learn to work, sleep, and play within those boundaries. 

Excerpt from #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life with permission from the author and publisher.

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