When’s the last time you took a break?
When I started my path to simple living, it was to initially consume less. However, I soon realized my desire to consume less also meant to be distracted less.
I wanted more time to focus on the things that mattered.
That’s really what it’s all about, right? Making time for those we love. Making time for joy and connections.
If you are feeling blah lately, maybe you need a break or a reset. A reset doesn’t mean letting go of all of our obligations, quitting our jobs, or dropping everything.
A reset can simply be pulling back.
Here are a few simple ways you can remove distractions in your life and take a break:
1 – Turn off your TV
I love a good Netflix binge as much as the next person. In fact, there’s a particular show I haven’t missed a single episode of in years. However, when I’m feeling distracted and tired, TV usually has had a part.
How many times do you get the kids in bed or the dishes done and think, I deserve some chill time and a quick show? (Cause you do.)
Here’s the thing though. You also deserve some sleep (or maybe a good book).
The TV can suck you right in. Before you know it, you’re tired. When we are tired, it’s not just a physical slow down. We struggle mentally as well.
Give yourself a break and find a new way to unwind.
2 – Delete social media
Delete your social media apps for a few days. I know. That sounds crazy.
Nothing makes you more aware of the number of times you click on an app until it’s not there.
Got an iPhone? Press and hold the app. Then, hit delete.
You’ll get a big scary message saying it’s going to delete all your data. It won’t.
A week later, you can head back over to your App Store, download the app all over again, log in, and BAM, you are back… feeling refreshed.
3 – Take a step away from the news
Take a break from the news. The news makes its money from headlines and clicks, and the good news just doesn’t get the same number of clicks as the bad stuff.
If you read or watch the news first thing in the morning, skip it for a few days (maybe longer).
Don’t worry. You’ll still hear about big events, but your brain will get a much-needed break.
If you can’t live without the news, set yourself a short timer for maybe 15 minutes. Then, read or watch as much as you like during that time. When the alarm goes off, commit to turning it off.
4 – Read a book
I love to read. I own more books than I can probably consume in the next few years. Yet, I so rarely take the time to sit down and read without any other looming obligations.
Drop something you normally do (like holding your phone), and read a book. Get lost in another world.
5 – Take a nap
When’s the last time you took a nap? If it’s been longer than a few months, schedule one for this week.
I fight naps like a toddler. There are so many other things I could be doing besides taking a break to sleep.
Give yourself the gift of a little extra sleep, even if all you can manage is a power nap. Ten to thirty minutes with your eyes closed may do you wonders.
6 – Make a slow meal
When life gets busy, so does the way we consume our food.
Food is necessary to life, so take the time to enjoy it. Nothing says taking a break like making slow food.
Make a stew that simmers all day.
Find a homemade spaghetti sauce recipe and simmer it for hours.
Make cookies from scratch.
Slow down and enjoy the cooking process as much as the meal.
7 – Play a game
Playing a game often forces us to put our phones away, forget about the day, and simply enjoy those around us.
Break out the board games you haven’t played in years.
Learn a new card game, and then teach it to your kids or grandkids.
Take a break, and have some fun!
8 – Create something
For the creative types, taking a break might mean giving yourself permission to create as long as you want, with no other obligations.
Cancel your evening obligations and do something you love. Stay up late. Get up early. Enjoy what fires you up.
9 – Journal
You don’t have to journal every day to be someone who journals. When I finally accepted this, I started to enjoy it a whole lot more.
I don’t always have time to journal. I don’t always enjoy it. However, when I need a break or a reset, journaling can often help me figure out why.
New to journaling? Grab a notebook with prompts, flip to a page, and simply start writing.
10 – Quit something
Quit an activity. Quit sugar. Quit hanging out with people who let you down.
Whatever is contributing to your stress, consider quitting it.
This doesn’t mean to go quit your job… but it could.
11 – Go to bed early
Sometimes we need a break because we are tired. That’s it. We need sleep.
Set an alarm on your phone, and start winding down for bed an hour early for a week.
Plug your phone to charge in another room, and head to bed.
You may feel silly going to bed super early, but I promise you, in the morning, you will be so happy you gave yourself the gift of sleep.
Take a break. Reset your day.
A reset doesn’t have to be some grand thing. Just remove the distractions. That’s all.
You’ll feel the difference, and you might be willing to take a break more often!