Take A BreakWe all need to rest at some point. Taking a break from your work, walking competition or committed hobby will help you feel more relaxed, refreshed and healthy. An Oxford Economics (2014) study showed that only 58% of U.S. employees take full advantage of the paid time off they earn during the year. So if you’re in the other 42%, it is time for some fun.

Too much work and not enough play can result in chronic stress. Ongoing stress can negatively impact your thinking, attitudes, health, and relationships. Sometimes it can be challenging to get away, yet a break has tremendous value. You’ll improve our health, sleep better, focus on your creative ideas and be more engaged when you get back to work. Most importantly, you’ll have time to spend with friends and family, isn’t that what life is about?

Continue reading for some tips on different breaks you can take:

For a vacation – Plan ahead for even less stress. Adding your away time to a shared work calendar lets others prepare for your absence and step in for you on the must-do tasks. You don’t have to drive or fly hundreds of miles to take your break; it can be as simple as taking a dog for a walk, meditating, or taking a few days off to just relax at home.

For your walking challenges – Short 6-8 week challenges are ideal. Then let participants take a break for a few weeks. They deserve the rest and you can expect them to return ready for the next challenge. Bonus: you also get extra time to promote your next event!

For your committed hobby – My partner is a musician and has several band ‘projects’. Coordinating groups of people, playing shows and pressure to come up with new material can be stressful.  Take a break from your hobby for a week or two and try something new. You’ll return to your passion with gusto, because you missed it!

Why do we feel so strongly about you taking a break? A 2011 Intuit study reports that women who don’t take vacations are more likely to suffer from heart disease than women who take a couple vacations a year. The same study shows that men who vacation are 32% less likely to die of a heart attack. The cherry on top? Vacationers report that they experience an 82% increase in job performance post-trip!

So, take a break!

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