It doesn’t take long to recharge your batteries. Treat yourself to a micro-break – an hour or two might be all you need.
Sometimes you need to give yourself a break. Not a holiday, not a spa vacation, not a yoga retreat or a stay in a swanky hotel. It doesn’t have to cost much. Indeed, it doesn’t have to cost anything. All you need to do is grab a teeny bit of time and enjoy it. Not rocket science, I know, but it’s surprising how rarely we take the opportunity not to do stuff. I don’t know about you but I see a gap and fill it with calls, texts, emails, social media and all sorts of other busy little bits of nonsense that could easily wait a while.
Earlier this week I was feeling a bit ‘meh’ so, in the absence of any better idea, I ran away to the seaside. For two hours. We stepped onto the beach at Bridlington, walked for precisely an hour in one direction, then turned around and walked straight back again. It doesn’t sound like the most fulfilling experience but the fresh, wintry air, negative ions and the sound of the sea soon banished my ‘meh’ and perked me up no end!
It turns out that I was, as ever, way ahead of the curve.* Oliver Burkeman, he of ‘This Column Will Change Your Life,’ in The Guardian, wrote this week that we all need micro-breaks. He even rented a room for an hour just to sit there and, well, not be anywhere else. This seems like a waste of hard cash to me – you know we don’t like spending money for its own sake – but he was doing it to make a point. Which was that we shouldn’t think of retreat and restoration as things we only do occasionally. Don’t put all your relaxation eggs in one basket and save them until holiday time – imagine the potential for stress that carries with it! Build micro-breaks into every day life. A few minutes downtime here and there won’t reduce your productivity. In fact, they could enhance it significantly.
These small breaks from routine are as valuable to your health and wellbeing as regular exercise and eating well. Treat yourself to a two-hour walk on a beach like I did. Or pop out to post a letter, sit in a coffee shop, lay on your yoga mat for 10 minutes, or do whatever you feel like doing as long as it’s not ‘a task’.
Next time there’s a little gap in your life, refresh yourself with a micro-break. Better still, create little gaps in your life to break your routines. You’ve got nothing to lose but your ‘meh’.
*Not true – I am never ahead of the curve.