Breaks are not a luxury. Before you try to argue against this point, think about it for a second: a break is one of those rare things that is both needed and attainable by everyone, no matter what walk of life you come from. Most employers include vacation time as part of their compensation packages. Even for those without this benefit, there are the standard required lunch breaks and even laws that prevent some employees for working too many consecutive hours. No, breaks are not a luxury, even in indifferent eyes of the law. So why do we feel that breaks are a luxury?

The answer to this question largely depends on your personal perspective, but the facts speak for themselves. A 2019 study revealed that only 28% of Americans plan to use all of their allotted vacation time. On some level, even when we are handed the opportunity for a break, we do not feel we are deserving of one.

Here’s the simple truth: If you are serious about restoring balance in your life, if you are committed to making the changes and improvements to propel you to fulfillment…

It’s time to give yourself a break.

Benefits of Giving Yourself a Break to Find Balance

You may be a motivated go-getter whose default mode is go-go-go. You might love being highly productive and getting things done, one after the other. You could also be someone that feels they need to accomplish a multitude of tasks before even considering taking a break. Whichever category you fall into, know that being that way is perfectly ok. What’s not ok is letting those natural inclinations from engaging in needed self restoration activities. Learning to balance drive and strong work ethic with ability to recognize when you need to take time to breathe should be your intention with this endeavor of change.

Breaking your established habit of avoiding breaks will not be easy. However, if you keep your reasons for wanting to change in mind, you will find that taking time for yourself will become less and less difficult. After all, the benefits of taking a break far out way cost of not doing so.

Reduced Stress

Stress triggers lots of different issues. Your physical, mental, and emotional health can suffer when you have sustained levels of stress. Research has shown that stress can substantially increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, headaches, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, and even premature death.

Thankfully, you can reduce these risks these issues by allowing yourself to take physical and mental breaks. A strong work-life balance will help you become more relaxed, slowly helping your body to be relieved of unwanted tension while simultaneously reducing the strain on your mind.

Greater Success

Our brains have a difficult time focusing on any one thing for too long. When we get to a point where we reach a productivity plateau, taking a short break can help us get our concentration back. If we are involved in long tasks, taking breaks will actually improve our focus. This can actually reduce the overall time it takes you to complete a task or project. Short breaks help to reset the mind, meaning that the time you spend working can become more productive. You should eventually discover that working like this helps you achieve the results you want more efficiently.
Our brains have two major modes: focused and diffused. When we are in the focused mode, we are busy focused on completing some sort of task. When we are in the diffused mode, we are relaxing, daydreaming, and spending time with friends or family. Creativity and problem-solving flourish when you are in the diffused mode. Getting into the diffused mode is especially helpful when we are faced with a complex or difficult problem. Taking that break may be exactly what we need to do to come up with the solution.

Improved Relationships

Taking a break shows that you care about your relationship with yourself as well as your relationship with others. If you are unable to respect yourself by giving yourself a break, you are devaluing yourself, which paves the way for you to be taken advantage of.
Your family, friends, and colleagues all respond to you best when you are able to interact with them in a way that is considerate and attentive. As you take the steps towards healing and restoring balance in your life, you will be able to focus better on those around you and meet their needs and expectations. The world is largely our mirror. When we value ourselves, others will value us.

Giving yourself some “me time” will also that you are someone that cares about more than just working. When you allow yourself to become overworked and burned out, it will be difficult for people to see you as being someone with a balanced head on their shoulders.

Being aware of these benefits and taking note of what is missing in your life should motivate you toward the path of recovery and change. That path starts with finding balance.

How to Find Balance in Your Life

There are several strategies you can take to have a more balanced life. What must be stressed is that no matter what your aim is, it all requires the will to commit and invest in yourself.

Set Goals

Setting goals is a way to monitor yourself and make sure you stick to actualizing your intentions. When you set goals, you make a commitment to yourself to achieve something. Setting goals involves both short-term tactics and long-term strategies. Take a goal you have and break it down into smaller daily intentions.

When you set regular intentions that support your larger goals, it becomes easier to stay focused and in the moment while still accomplishing something. There is greater balance when you take things in small pieces like this.


Not everything on your agenda, schedule, or mind has the same weight of importance. Spending more time on something which is less important can throw your life out of balance. By prioritizing, you are choosing to focus on the areas of your life that hold the most importance to you.

On any given day at any given time, look at what the priority should be. Is it checking your social media feed? Is it returning a client’s phone call? To find balance, you should prioritize your daily tasks. You should also re-examine these priorities from time to time.

When you finally figure out what your priorities are, focus on them. Give them the attention worthy of the value you have assigned them and be consistent. Knowing what matters the most to you, not others, is crucial. You sometimes have to say ‘No’ to things you may want to do but don’t need to do.

Take a Vacation

As shown earlier, taking a vacation is something that is difficult for many of us to do. We can become so dedicated to our careers that we feel we cannot simply drop everything. We may think that things would fall apart or not get done if we went on vacation. However, what can really fall apart is our mental and physical health. Vacations, even if it is just a day off here and there to do nothing, is an investment in your well-being. People who take regular vacations have lower levels of stress and minimize the health risks we mentioned earlier. Taking time away from the office can actually help you become more productive when you get back, but in a healthier way.
Cultivate Balance Remember, taking time for yourself is not a luxury, but a necessity. If you are having trouble doing this, it may be time to reach out for assistance from those who can support you and encourage you on the journey to create more balance in your life. Ask yourself, “Am I willing to make myself a priority?” If the answer is a resounding yes, I would love to support you in this endeavor. I invite you to start identifying the areas of your life that need to be brought into balance with a free 1 on 1 consultation. Whatever we uncover, we will create a plan to restore it together. You are not alone in this journey. You deserve a well balanced life. It’s time to start cultivating it.