SmallStep #10 – Take Mini-Breaks from Your Daily Routine

relax in hammock, lazy vacationsSmallSteps are simple things women can do to live calmer, healthier and sexier lives.  You don’t have to turn your life upside down in order to make positive changes.  Sometimes very small changes, repeated over time, can make a big difference.  This week, consider adopting the SmallStep of taking mini-breaks from your daily routine.

(Check out all of the SmallSteps to a calmer, healthier and sexier life here.)

Many women push themselves hard all the time.  They run fast and furious all day, finish  each day exhausted, collapse into bed and start the routine all over again the next morning.  They feel tired, frustrated and stressed much of the time.  If that describes your life, you may want to look long and hard at your commitments and your family’s schedule.  In the meantime, though, you can improve your state of mind, and maybe even your health and marriage, by taking regular mini-breaks from your schedule and responsibilities.

A mini-break should transport you out of the daily grind, even if only for 15 or 30 minutes.  It should relax, refresh or energize you, depending on what you need on a given day.  And it should be something you want to do, not something other people think you should do.

Here are 5 tips for incorporating mini-breaks into your life:

  • Determine what kind of mini-breaks work best for you.  Make a list of things you could do for 15 or 30 minutes that would revive you.  Also think about mini-breaks that would take longer than 30 minutes, activities you might only do once or twice a week.
  • Take at least one short mini-break every day.  You deserve 15-30 minutes a day to regroup and try to maintain your sanity!  (Personally, I think you deserve more, but 15-30 minutes is a good start!)  Figure out what works with your schedule and set that time aside.  It can be anything that refreshes your body, mind or spirit – take walk, soak in a warm bath, exercise, read a good book,  listen to music, enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend, talk with your husband – whatever appeals to you.  And you can choose different activities on different days.
  • Take at least one longer mini-break each week.  Once or twice a week, take a longer break from your daily routine.  If you have small children, get out of the house by yourself.  If you normally eat lunch at your desk, take it outside on a beautiful day.  Put the kids to bed and watch a relaxing movie.  Spend an hour working on one of your hobbies.  Ask your husband for a back rub (and give him one the next time!)
  • Don’t confuse “playing with technology” with “taking a mini-break.”  Often, when I’m tired at the end of the day, I’ll run through my Facebook feed and flip through some Web sites on my laptop or phone.  But I realized something recently – those things don’t relax me.  If anything, they make me more tense.  So when I do them, I’m wasting valuable time I could be using to take a break from reality!  If you find yourself doing those things during your down time, make sure you really find them relaxing.  If you don’t, use that time for something better.
  • Include your husband.  Husbands need mini-breaks too, so make sure you both have time to recharge and rejuvenate.  And take some of your mini-breaks together.  Going on a date is a type of mini-break, but so is going for a walk, playing a game, watching a movie, making love.

Do you take regular mini-breaks?  Or do you find it hard to make time for yourself?  Please share your thoughts in the Comments.  I would love to hear from you.  Gaye

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  1. says

    Great advice….I seem to think that since I don’t have small kiddos at home I should be making up for all that time I lost. Doesn’t do a body good. I need to take your advice. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    • GC says

      Hi Bobbi – Yes, trying to make up for “lost time” is a lose-lose proposition, isn’t it?! I think that small breaks actually increase our efficiency, but sometimes it’s hard to act like I believe that’s true!


  2. says

    I try to take “mini-breaks” throughout my day, Gaye. It’s harder to do, now that my life is so hectic. But I feel like I’m more productive when I make time for that break from whatever I’m doing. Sometimes I even set a timer to remind me to take a break when I’m very focused on a task. Also, I haven’t really thought about it, but social media and technology don’t really relax me either. I’ve never stopped to think about it, but you’re are so right on that one, my friend! Thanks for your practical and healthy insights. They add value to my life!

    • GC says

      Thanks so much, Beth. You always encourage me and make me feel like I have something to offer!

      I like the idea of setting a timer as a reminder to take a break!


    • GC says

      Hi Linda – I tend to think that it will be relaxing (“oh, I’ll just mess around with my phone for a few minutes”), but it almost never is for me.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • GC says

      Hi Michelle – Yes, it is hard to take the breaks we need. But I think it is worth the effort. The older I get, the more convinced I am we really need these little breaks.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.


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