Photo of Dr Anne Malatt by Alan Johnston for articles and audios on self-care

Self-care moments: Taking a break

- Photography by Alan Johnston
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Hi, this is Anne Malatt with self-care moments and this is a moment on taking a break.

What do we mean by taking a break?

We may have all sorts of ideas about what taking a break means, from a weekend away to a holiday, to quitting a job or even retirement, but what if taking a break could be much more simple and readily accessible than that?

What if taking a break is something we could do in any moment of every day, wherever we are and whatever we are doing.

We often think we are too busy to take a break. Sometimes we actually are too busy, but this busy-ness is rarely so sustained that we cannot stop at all.

Taking a moment to stop, no matter how busy we are, can make all the difference to the way we feel and the way our day flows.

This stop moment may be just sitting for a minute in a chair, having a drink of water, or going to the bathroom or rest room. This gives us a moment to press the pause button on the constant motion of life, to rest and be still, to go within and tune into our bodies, how we are feeling and what we need to do to take care of ourselves.

Taking a break can also provide the space to breathe gently, come back to ourselves, and see ourselves, others and life more clearly.

Taking a moment just to sit, may help if we are feeling overwhelmed, confused, pressured, stressed or just plain tired. It offers a space from the constant pressure and motion of life which can stop us from reacting to people, taking things personally, taking things on, and generally taking life too seriously.

Claiming these moments in our day to take a break can support us to develop a rhythm and flow with the day that sustains us to work the whole day without getting too caught up in constant motion and too tired and drained.

So at the end of the day we may feel tired, but we still have energy to enjoy our evenings as we wind down for bed. Because we have cared for ourselves during the day, we don’t need to seek relief from the day in excess food and drink, or distract ourselves from how we are feeling with our many and varied entertainments, for we enjoy the feeling in our bodies.

Living a day in this way, taking moments to rest and honour our bodies and how we are feeling and to care for ourselves in a tender loving way, can sustain us through our working day and through our working week.

So that when we have time to take a longer break ­– a weekend, a holiday away, or even when we retire – we have set up a rhythm and a flow in our days, that sustains us, no matter what we are doing.

Taking a break is not a time to escape from our bodies and our lives, but a time to enjoy being in our bodies even more deeply, and to appreciate ourselves, just for who we are.

4 COMMENTS

  1. You have made taking a break so easy, practical and everyday. Seeing how easy it is removes the accumulating stress that can happen when we believe that ‘taking a break’ has to involve time off work, extended numbers of hours and days or finding someone to relieve us. Thanks Anne this is great.

    • Thank you Christine, so glad you enjoyed it. Changing the way I view taking a break to this moment by moment way of being has certainly enriched and simplified my life.

  2. It is so easy to get caught up in all that needs to be done in a day’s work and to be taking “breaks” that don’t truely replenish us… I really appreciate how you remind us to pause from being in constant motion and tune into our bodies to feel what we need to support and take care of ourselves. I think this will make a lot of the difference and I already feel lighter about going to work tomorrow. Thank you Anne.

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