A constant theme on this blog is that we, as humans, don’t take enough time for ourselves. (especially as Americans – as I look at our European friends with 6+ weeks vacation and turn green) We work longer hours, produce more (in theory!), and are tied to our smart phones. I’m sitting inside, right now, typing at my computer, staring longingly out the window at the beautiful trees, wanting to be outside with them. (yes, they are the enemy of my sinuses for another week or two, but yet, I forgive them for their life-giving oxygen!)
Of course, there are lots of reasons why taking a break benefits us, especially during the workday. Even something as simple as walking is good for our health. I’m sure we all know most of them – it clears our brains, stretches our muscles, and lowers stress. We probably hear it on the news at least twice a year. (This just in! A new study tells us the same things we already know….) So – if it only takes 10-15 minutes to get great benefits, why don’t we do it?
For me, there’s the guilt of losing productivity, which is pretty silly. Research shows (Yay! Another study!) that isn’t true. Breaks make us more productive. Yet my butt stays glued in the chair and my eyes are always on my screen. There’s also fear that once I go outside, I’ll keep walking and never come back. That’s probably not true, my stuffed animals are here*, but you never know. (Yup, Marc too…) Also, sometimes being outside and alone with my thoughts makes me anxious. If I’m concentrating on my work, I don’t have to think about all of the things I feel I need to do or problems that I need to solve. Of course, federal guidelines recommend exercise to help lower anxiety (they found it in a study!**) but that never seems to be enough to coerce me.
I should put a reminder on my fancy digital device to remind me of something so important. After all, if I don’t have my health, I can’t do much and there’s much to do. We’re working on getting Extra-Strength Strap Savers in Black and Tan. We’re hoping to launch a new cart in the next few weeks. We all know the importance of Strap Savers, so I must stay in top condition! (yes, I’m mocking myself) But, I do have ones that I love and that love me, so taking care of myself is important. And, the more that we do here, the more we can support Jill’s Wish***.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I just can’t stay inside all day… I gotta get out, get me some of those rays!
Will this persuade you to take a break? If not, what would? What’s your plan for taking care of you today?
*I should introduce you to Dudley. You’d like him. He’s adorable.
**I’m not mocking studies. For some of us, it takes numbers and science to believe things that are counter-intuitive – like taking breaks makes you more productive. I’m mostly mocking the news organizations that tout a study of 25 people like it’s going to change the world. Read the fine print before you decide if all of life’s problems have been solved;
***As of 11/30/2017, 5% of all sales are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.