Why Your Brain Needs Rest & What You Can Do To Take A Break

How good are you at taking a break? If you’re like most people, you’re not.

We live in a culture that demands we work more, do more, and take on all this extra stuff just to prove that we can manage it all. It’s like we strive to wear this ridiculous burnout badge of honour. Have you ever stopped to wonder why you’re running at such a fast pace? Or asked yourself if this is the way you want to live your life?

Truth be told, this work, work, work mentality is doing so much harm to our mental health and wellness. Your mental health relies on you being able to take a break in the same way that when you work out your body needs those rest days in order to rebuild muscle so that you can get stronger. Your mind functions in exactly the same way. Your brain needs rest in order to process and create meaning to all the experiences you’re having in order to manage your mental health and feel good about yourself.

We often see taking a break as a sign of weakness, but it’s the opposite, it’s the strongest thing you can do for yourself. Your brain is busy all day long processing millions of micro and macro interactions – it notices them, it processes them, it creates the meaning of them and then it stores them. The system is very complex and it requires a ton of energy to function at its highest capacity. We tend to take it all for granted until we start to recognize that we’re not managing our emotions well, we feel short-tempered often, and our memory isn’t as good as it used to be. All of these are signs of too much stress (look here & here for more on signs of stress).

Taking a break is allowing your brain to slow down enough to make meaning of all the experiences it has been processing – it allows you to breathe, to connect with your thoughts and feelings and figure out how you actually feel about things.

We don’t need to be working on something all the time – we can take a break from learning, growing, doing hard things and figuring out all the pieces of life for a moment to take a freaking break! Put down your phone, stop listening to the news, take a break from the Pinterest inspirational quotes, shut off all your devices and take a break.

What would happen if you took a break? What does a break look like?

Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about how you can take a meaningful break:

  1. Get outside! Fresh air is the BEST medicine.
  2. Go for a walk. But don’t bring your earbuds, no music! Just listen to the sounds around you and rediscover your surroundings.
  3. TV is okay for a little bit. As long as it’s something funny or entertaining – turn off the news & documentaries!
  4. Take a bath!! This one’s a given.
  5. Read a raunchy book!! Give yourself some mind candy 😉
  6. Connect with a friend! Grab a coffee, go for a walk, put away your phones, and have fun, find joy in the conversation, and laugh A LOT!
  7. Head to the mountains & go without cell reception for a bit.

Give yourself permission to take a break and own it! Because you deserve it!!

Check out the latest Coffee Talk “How to Take a Break & Rest” to dive deeper into this conversation!

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or to book a session. We look forward to working with you on your life journeys.

Cecilia

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604.746.2025 | info@eternacounselling.ca | TeleHealth Video Conferencing | COVID-19 Response

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