What is a joy break? Read on and I’ll explain.
When we are super busy (whether we are enjoying ourselves or not), one of the best things we can do for our own well-being is take a break. Whilst this may seem obvious, I have found only a few of us remember to do it. I put myself in the category of those who frequently forget!
Taking a small moment to change our scenery, to move our body, even just take a walk to the other side of the office or room can assist with our motivation levels and focus. Slightly longer breaks (of a few minutes or more) also offer an opportunity to recharge.
An idea that I have been toying with is the joy break. We know that when we take a break, or a pause it recharges us. A moment to step away, refocus, and maybe, even be mindful of how we are feeling in that moment.
But taking a break can apply even when we love doing something! It doesn’t need to just be something that is hard work or feels challenging.
Taking a break restores our energy, renews our focus and simply makes us feel better.
The joy break is a deliberate, intentional break where you actively choose to do something that makes you feel joyful.
Challenging task? Schedule a joy break
When we are in the midst of doing something that is actually very hard or unpleasant, we can schedule a joy break.
For example, if we are in the midst of transition, grief or mourning, we could schedule watching a funny movie as a joy break. A little moment to lift our spirits and give ourselves permission to laugh again.
Or, perhaps we are in the midst of packing for a house move, or studying for an exam; in each situation taking a break to restore our energy level and our happiness can be just what we needed. Taking a joy break can be the answer to overcoming and coping in situations where we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Using joy breaks when you love what you do
It can also be fun to take a joy break, even if you are enjoying what you are doing; after all, it’s all about balance.
I’ve been trying to plan little joy breaks throughout my day. Using the idea of a little pause is providing variability and something extra to look forward to each day.
An example is listening to an Audio book or my favourite podcast, or some upbeat music as I hang out the washing. This turns a chore into a joy break. Win-win! Whilst stopping something I love doing (like writing) in order to hang out washing feels like an interruption, pausing writing in order to take a joy break to listen to something I love and enjoy, keeps my energy positive. I’ve found it helps with motivation too – I return enthused and sometimes, with even better ideas.
The other joy break I have been trying to implement is using my regular cup of tea as a trigger to more deliberately pause. Usually, I just throw a teabag in a mug and keep on working. Instead, now am consciously and intentionally trying to take 5 minutes to brew a pot of tea. Enjoying the process and slowing down for those few minutes then feels like a rather special time in my day. A little moment of mindfulness. If I am feeling very daring, I might even flick through a magazine whilst sipping my tea instead of taking it back to my desk. (I know, so wild!)
Try this today – take a little joy break!
You too may find that by taking a little time to actively and intentionally pursue something that brings joy, you feel happier, more motivated and more energised.
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