We all have a breaking point; whether we are burnt out from work, family is getting to us, friendships get rough, or the world just begins to feel like it's closing in on us.
It's important, in this day and age, to step back and breathe. A reminder that we are all, believe it or not, human.
Sometimes it's hard to take a break from life, or to squeeze in those five minutes that you need just to center yourself. Here are some tips on how to take the break that you need to keep yourself sane.
Go people watching.
On a lunch break from work, instead of sitting at your desk where people could continue to ask you work related questions, take a walk. Go to a park or a cafe where you can be away from your coworkers, grab a drink or a sandwich, and gaze at the people around you. Put your phone down; stop scrolling on Instagram and Facebook, don't check your email, and take a deep breath.
Create stories for the people you see. Who are they? Where are they going? What is their life like? You don't know these people, and they don't know you. They want nothing from you. Breathe in the fact that you can be alone for however long your lunch break is with no one asking you to do anything.
Write down everything you do.
It sounds like a chore, but try it. A friend of mine told me that she was doing this to help her clear her mind and I thought the idea was fantastic.
Even on your day off, write down what you do in a day and at the end of the day, go over the list. Figure out what in that list bring you joy and what you do that is unnecessary and makes you unhappy.
By eliminating these things, or at least putting a name down to those things, you'll be able to find replacements. Maybe you don't even realize that something that you do on a daily basis makes you feel kinda miserable.
Have a night in.
I know, I know. The FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. Sometimes you feel like what you need is a night out to let loose and a bunch of your friends are going out. What if they sing a song at karaoke without you? Or all do shots together?
Guess what? There are more opportunities to do that. There will always be more karaoke nights and more shots to be had.
If you need a night in, it's okay to say "I'll catch you guys next time!"
Go home, curl up with a good book or binge a new show. At first you might feel like you're missing out on a good time, especially if you continuously check your Instagram and see your friends' stories. But if you disconnect yourself and do things that make you feel good, it'll enable your body and your mind to just chill for a moment.
Get a coloring book.
That's right, folks. They aren't just for kids.
Get a coloring book, leave it at your desk at work or by your TV at home. Anywhere that you can just break it out and start doodling or coloring. And don't worry about getting it perfect; you're not going to be selling this work of art. It can be whatever you want it to be. Sometimes you just need to do to keep your mind off of everything that's been occupying your space.
Tune out the world.
Put some headphones in and listen to your favorite music or audiobook. Headphones are (usually) the clearest way to tell people "I'm not in the mood to talk to listen to you right now, so please go away."
We listen to music all the time; on our way to work, at the cafe that only plays the same three jazz songs, in our Ubers, etc. but when was the last time you actually listened to the songs you were listening to? Take a moment and just listen to whatever music makes you happy or feel good. Listen to the words or to the piano in the background. Let however you are feeling be translated into the music.
Whatever makes you feel calm...
...do it. Take the minute that you need. The worst thing to do for your body and your mind is to let it all build up until you explode.
Don't feel bad telling your friends or family that you just need a bit of You time. Take your lunch break to get away from the work and stress that is surrounding you in that environment. Spend some time listening to your body.
Those of you who have read my other articles know that I am not a therapist or any other kind of doctor. I haven't spent hours researching the mind and the body and studying what the best way to relax is. But these are some ways that I have learned to listen to my body's needs. And maybe they'll help you to take a break.
About the author
I am a 27 year old writer from NYC who has grown up in the theatre world. I have always loved writing and helping people out. Sometimes it's just enough to know you're not alone. I hope you enjoy what I have to say.