No vacation plans or fancy dinner reservations? You don’t need a big reason to take a break from work, even when you work from home.
Although you might not be headed on a globe-trotting adventure, it’s still important to savor the little ways to unplug and recharge. If you have recently transitioned to remote work and find yourself working from home, you may find it hard to take a break. How can you when there’s no separation between work and home? And what’s the harm in logging on to answer a few emails? Afterall, the computer is right there.
This kind of attitude is all the more reason to take a break from work. And make it a real one! Remember: Working from home is still working. That means you should still feel comfortable taking time to yourself.
Working your mind is a bit like working your muscles. Time to stretch and rest, as well as eat healthy and drink water, all factor into your fitness. It’s about the complete picture, not only how fast you run or how much weight you lift. Because tomorrow, it starts all over again. Are you in a position to get back to work?
Sometimes not doing anything makes all the difference. Taking a break from work doesn’t have to mean doing something. That’s because finding space for a calm activity can make a difference physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you don’t give yourself time to recover, you could end up feeling exhausted and stressed, and have trouble concentrating and making decisions.
Time away from your desk can be a quick walk or stretch break that invigorates you to get through your daily to-do list. A quick break from work is a refresher that inspires creativity and improve productivity. But even if you are good about taking quick breaks, you may still need (or want) to take a longer one. This is where your unplugged weekends and vacation days come in.
If you are lucky enough to have the ability to take time off, use it. Schedule time away from the office and let your colleagues know you won’t be available. Sleep in, make a big breakfast, savor a cup of coffee while looking out the window. This will help you fully relax and also help improve office morale because it leaves the door open for others to request time off or be upfront about their mental health needs.
And, when you do take personal time, try to truly escape the office. Admittedly, that might feel hard if you live and work in the same place. So, if it takes hiding your computer and vowing to not log on, do it. If you need ideas of how to plan a bigger escape from your at-home office, think about things that pull you away from the computer. It could be planting a garden, reading a book, calling a friend, quietly meditating, or going on a hike.