Are you feeling exhausted and can’t figure out why? You are not alone. According to Jay Shetty, a recent study shows that 60 percent of adults feel more tired than ever.1
Getting an adequate amount of sleep or rest is an important part of leading a happy, productive life. If you are under-rested, you can’t perform at optimum levels in your job or in your social or personal life. Getting the right amount of rest may include changing the way you work.
Taking a break at work is often unheard of. The pressure to get everything done drives us to work without breaks until everything is finished. And like Jay Shetty used to, we may even view those who take breaks as being lazy or unproductive.
“I used to be someone who didn't believe in breaks,” Jay Shetty shares. “I was someone who frowned on people who took breaks. I was highly judgmental in that way.”
Building in breaks is so important, not only at work but in life. Whether it’s a short break at work or a week-long vacation, Jay Shetty says making time for breaks will improve how rested we feel overall.
Easier said than done, right? The thought of taking a break may invoke feelings of guilt. You may think you’re letting others down or cheating yourself of the time needed to complete the project. How do you transform your mentality from all work and no rest to one that sees breaks as essential?
When you first start to take breaks, you may think they’re slowing you down. But as you grow and develop, breaks will be the most effective and productive thing you can do. In this article, Jay Shetty lays out the breaks he takes in different stages of his day, week, month and year and the simple steps you can take to build breaks into your life without feeling guilty.
Take a Five Minute Break
Taking breaks allow you to take a breather. When you work, you’re operating at a high-pace, grinding through things to get them done. Your muscles are tense, and you’re just gritting it out. A short break allows your body to relax and breathe, getting your body and mind back in sync.
Every hour, take a five-minute break, and have these breaks scheduled into your day.
Jay Shetty suggests if a meeting finishes at 12:30, the next one should start at 12:35. Even better, make your meetings 55 minutes long instead of 60.
Giving yourself that extra five minutes to decompress before your next meeting ensures you will not carry stress and pressure from the previous meeting into the next one. Here are some ideas from Jay Shetty on how to spend those five minutes:
Hydrate. That’s right, drink some water. Most people don’t drink enough water each day. Water is vital to help maintain energy levels and replenish the cells. You should be drinking two to three liters a day, but most people only drink around a liter.
Walk. Take a walk to get your water. Getting up and moving will also help keep your energy level up.
Watch. This doesn’t mean whipping out your phone and loading up your favorite video or show. Find a window or stand outside and find something in the distance to focus on. Maybe it is a bird, a cloud, or a tree. Whatever it is, set your gaze and observe it. What colors do you see, what kind of movement does it have, what shape?
Allow your mind to slow down to the pace of what it is you’re looking at. Change your breath to mimic the rhythm of what you are watching. Allow nature to nurture you for those five minutes.
“I promise you if you do these three habits every hour just for five minutes, your mind will feel at ease. Your body will feel hydrated and you will feel incredibly better,” explains Jay Shetty.
Take a 15-Minute Break
Once you have scheduled your five-minute breaks every hour, you need to include a 15-minute break every four hours.
You may think fifteen-minute breaks aren’t possible if you want to get everything done in a day, but you need that time to re-energize and let your mind wander so you can regroup and power through the day.
This break is not for lunch. This break is a time to grab a healthy snack and let your mind wander. Letting your mind wander is when your creativity and ingenuity come through because you do not have to think about other things.
Another great way to spend one of your 15-minute breaks is meditation.
Ready to make meditation a new daily habit? Jay Shetty can help! Meditate with him daily for seven minutes in The Daily Jay, Jay Shetty’s new mindfulness series on Calm. Save 40% off your subscription when you join now at https://calm.com/Jay.
A 30-Minute Lunch
Take a lunch break, but not a working lunch. Eating at your desk is not a good idea. You don’t work well when you are trying to eat, and you rush trying to eat to get back to work. This leaves you feeling bloated and tired the rest of the afternoon.
Thirty minutes is the minimum break you should take for your lunch break. This is your time to do what you want to do.
“Try and avoid making it about social media, scrolling, or sending an email,” Jay Shetty explains. “It is your lunchtime. It’s ok if you want to do some online shopping or you want to call someone in your life. Maybe you just want to sit there and eat and be present with your food.”
Try leaving your phone at your desk so you are not reaching for it during your lunch. This might be odd at first, but you will get used to it. It will be freeing and provide a time of stillness for your mind.
Schedule a Restful Weekend
Weekends seem to be when we try to fit everything into our schedules that we didn’t get done during the week. Our calendars fill up with social activities and to-do lists, and we find ourselves running every which way. This non-stop schedule leads to exhaustion during the week.
A great way to help combat the constant rat race is to schedule one entire weekend every 30 days to put aside the lists and social events and just take time to rejuvenate.
This looks different for everyone. Perhaps it is sitting on the beach, visiting a park, taking a hike or just resting at home. Whatever it is you want to do, take time to unplug from the world around you.
“Some of the best memories Radhi and I have made in our relationship involve being able to spend quality time together,” explains Jay Shetty. “We started taking three days every month where we drive three hours away from where we live. We lock our phones in the safe of the hotel or the Airbnb that we stay in, and then we go out and just spend time together.”
Maybe you think you are way too busy to do that. But you are too busy not to do this. Scheduling time away will help prevent the burnout you will feel if you keep going at your current pace.
“I really want you to consider planning some quality time with friends with loved ones with a partner every 30 days,” shares Jay Shetty. “This allows you to truly disconnect from everything that's going on and reconnect with the people that mean the most to you.”
Take a Quarterly Break
Every three months, plan a long weekend. You can combine this with the weekend that you set aside to rejuvenate yourself. A three-day mini-vacation somewhere is wonderful for resetting your mindset, freeing your spirit, and finding the rest you need to catch up on! Taking a long weekend each quarter may sound like a lot of time off, but it only amounts to four days in one year. Take the time. Jay Shetty says you will be so happy you did.
Plan a Vacation
Too many people do not take their earned vacation time. This is your full seven days away from work where you spend time doing what you want to do. Use it!
Take a vacation. See something new, visit family or an old friend. Whatever it is, take the time you earned. When you start to schedule breaks in your life, you slow down and hopefully eliminate the chances of burnout.
Jay Shetty recommends you take regular, consistent daily, weekly, monthly and yearly breaks to transform your life. If you don’t build rest into your days, weeks, months, and years, it will affect your mental and physical health.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “6 Ways to Take a Break” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.