Take a break!

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It is said that India has the largest number of holidays. Even those who work for MNCs have more holidays in India than their counterparts abroad. Yet, very few of us actually enjoy our holidays. I am not referring to students who get vacations between the academic years. I am referring to those who work throughout the year and are able to get only these ‘bank holidays’ and still don’t manage to enjoy them. Everyone needs to have a break – from life.  Most of our holidays (especially the weekly ones) are spent in visiting relatives, cleaning the house, attending to children etc. Even if we enjoy these, you have to admit it – it’s exhausting! We need to remove out some time for ourselves, to think about our lives, where we are going. It seems ‘filmy’ to some, clichéd for others and boring for the rest. But let’s face it. Assessing our lives at some point is important for our personal growth. Taking a break does not only mean going on a holiday to some exotic location. It can mean spending ten minutes daily only with yourself, doing what you enjoy the most, it could mean spending quality time with the kids and your spouse and sharing your feelings and thoughts with them.

Take a break at your office for say five minutes. This helps focusing on your work in a better way and you also end up being more productive. Don’t make cleaning your home an uphill or a tiring task but use it as a way to organize and relax the self. Many people use cleaning the house as a way of de – stressing.

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Take a break from college. Like a gap year. In India, if you do something like this you are usually seen as someone who is on their way to ruin, has no aim in life or has too much money. Don’t fall for these remarks. You’ll be surprised how taking a gap year makes you focus more on your future and open up more career paths. Most of those vacations after college are gone in preparing for entrance exams and admission or getting a job. Don’t rush. Taking a gap year will make you ask yourself if the career path you have chosen is right for you and will give you time to choose something you enjoy and are passionate about.  If you can afford it, travel. It doesn’t have to be a fancy location abroad and try not to make it the usual drama of partying with friends and drinking alcohol. Explore yourself during the journey. Experience the place you are going to even if it is Mahabaleshwar. You’ll be surprised how despite visiting the place before you were unaware of the aura that place carries.

Take a break from your job. Go out for the weekend. Evaluate your life. Do I need to make more investment? Try to shift your focus from the surrounding to the self. Am I happy with my job? Did I achieve everything I wanted to achieve? Is it high time for me to begin exercising? Avoid going to locations that are physically taxing but at the same time involve yourself in physical activities to keep your mind and body active. Do not return home from a holiday so tired that you need another one.

If taking a break means that you have to be with your friends, involve the whole group into physical or mental activities. Cook together. Be creative! Make something out of old waste paper, boxes etc. Try to make new friends while you do so.

Include reading in your break. Don’t just include Mills and Boon and your sports magazine. Discover something new. Expand your knowledge. Be in sync with the current affairs. Switch off that phone. Get off internet. You won’t be killed. We are way too addicted to our gadgets than we care to admit.

Have a staycation. If you don’t have the moolah to go out somewhere with the whole family, stay at home. But spend the time resting and relaxing with them and not watching T.V; although you could go for a movie together. Play as a family. Be it cricket, football or words games.  It also brings you closer to your family and friends and increases dialogue between them and you. And we all know how important that is.

It is said that those who take a break tend to have longer lives and manage to remain healthy and free from lifestyle diseases be it anxiety, depression or cardiovascular diseases. Vacations or even mini – breaks boost your immune system and let’s your mind to start over.  You also become a nicer person! The advantage of having a relaxed mind over an overworked mind is that your social interactions go much smoother. So if your boss shouts at you, you take it with a pinch of salt than removing the frustration on your children.

Life is short. And you can’t spend your entire life worrying about your job and finances. What is better? Being in tension all the time, contracting a disease and lowering your lifespan or taking a break, living a healthier life and having a longer lifespan. Take your pick!