Permission granted to take a break.
Written by Tribe Leader, Kate Gyngell
I have a tendency to over fill my working day.
I love what I do, but last week I began to feel that things were getting out of control and consequently I wasn’t doing any one thing particularly well.
It was a blessing that someone I was due to meet rang to postpone a meeting as I was driving to it so, on the spur of the moment, I turned the car towards the Northern Beaches of Sydney, inspired just a little I think by Queen singing I want to break free on the radio!
Any last trace of guilt disappeared as I caught sight of the shimmer of sun on sea as I descended the hill above Mona Vale and turned left towards the beautiful beaches north of Sydney.
I actually felt my shoulders drop and spirits lift as I heard the waves breaking on the beach and took a deep breath of sea air.
I found it slightly shocking that it took a moment like that to make me realise how shallow my breathing can be on a busy day. If the surfers noticed me at all, they may have thought I looked a little odd, bare foot and dressed for a meeting walking on the sand, but I felt completely calm and re-energised and hugely grateful that we live so close to this beautiful coastline.
That spontaneous middle of the day escape was enough to lift the tension and pressure I’d been feeling and it was a lesson to me not just to take some time out, but also recognise when it’s necessary.
I’m extremely fortunate not to live in a stressful environment but most of us talk about feeling stressed some of the time, perhaps without realising the detrimental effect stress can have on our minds and bodies.
Chronic stress depresses the immune system, depletes vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants, hinders digestion and elimination and can cause short term memory loss! It also blocks healing responses in the body. Relaxing is an integral part of healing.
Diaphragmatic breathing, meditation and yoga are all wonderfully effective ways to relax. If you don’t have time for regular meditation and yoga, at least make the time to stop and breathe deeply when you feel your tension rising. Walking, with or without a faithful canine, even just for thirty minutes can also be a great de-stressor, I find.
And for us girls, sometimes nothing beats getting together with close friends who listen without judgement and support us without question.
What are the tell tale signs you notice that you need to take some time out? How do you relax? We would love to hear what you do to give yourself a break when you need it. Please join us in the comments below. Maybe what you’re doing will be useful for someone else in our Tribe!