Taking Wellness Breaks at Work
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
Are you a former smoker? While it almost seems like a past life to me at this point because it’s been so long, I'll admit that I once enjoyed cigarettes. However, they took a toll on my lungs pretty quickly, causing recurrent bronchial infections.
This blog is not about the harmful effects of cigarettes or e-cigs, but I will say the latter may not be as safe as many first thought ("Health Risks of E-Cigarettes and Vaping", 2019). I guess time will tell…
My reason for bringing up smoking is that I remember when I quit how weird I felt about taking my two-15 minute breaks I was entitled to at work. I had no problem when I was a smoker. I welcomed it and loved socializing with others and taking that needed time away from my tasks. After I quit, it just felt weird because I didn’t want to hang with the smokers because the smell suddenly bothered me. Also, I thought, "what would I do on my break?"
As I got older I began to realize the importance of taking this time and you could often find me with a yoga ball near my desk doing stretches, walking up the escape route stairs on a cold/wet day or walking around outside on a nice day. I even brought a mini billiards game to work at one time and that helped break things up a bit and allowed me to refocus when I got back to my desk.
Most of us are not taking adequate time to step away, unplug and unwind, though. We are continually bombarded with e-mails, texts, social media notifications, phone calls, etc. Our thoughts are jumping around continuously from one thing to the next.
Dr. Wayne Dyer (2003) wrote in his book Getting in the Gap that people have on average 60,000 thoughts per day! Obviously, this leaves little room to fully decompress.
I know many people find it hard to break away from what they are doing and some employers even seem to frown upon it, but the bottom line is, production does tend to increase when employees are allowed to step away for a bit and clear their heads (Kruse, 2017).
So, how are you breaking up your workday? Do you believe you are taking sufficient time? How is your work/life balance? Are you able to disconnect from your job when you go home for the day?
Employers – What are you doing to encourage your employees to take those much needed wellness breaks each day? If the answer is nothing, what can you do today to get started?
Dyer, W. (2003). Getting In the Gap (Kindle Edition). Hay House, Inc.
Health Risks of E-Cigarettes and Vaping. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/impact-of-e-cigarettes-on-lung.html
Kruse, K. (2017). Want To Get More Done? Try Taking More Breaks. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2017/02/06/want-to-get-more-done-try-taking-more-breaks/#2b796b246db4
*This blog is for entertainment and education purposes only. The content included is my opinion and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.