Estimated reading time: 4 mins
As someone who works in the service industry, I know all too well how stressful it can be. From long hours to dealing with difficult customers, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. That’s why time off work is so important; taking regular breaks away from work can help reduce stress levels and make us more productive when we return. But does time off actually help with stress? In this article, I’ll be exploring the evidence behind this claim and looking at some case examples of how taking time off work has helped people cope with their stress levels.
Firstly, let’s look at the science behind why taking a break from work helps reduce our stress levels and boosts our emotional wellbeing. According to studies conducted by researchers at Stanford University, working for extended periods of time without breaks can have a negative impact on our mental health. The team found that employees who took regular breaks throughout the day were more productive than those who worked continuously – suggesting that taking a few minutes away from your desk could actually help improve your productivity in the long run. If you’re an ‘Al-Desko‘ diner, you might want to think again!
Not only this, but research carried out by the Harvard Business Review suggests that taking regular vacation days can also help reduce employee burnout – another symptom of excessive workplace stress. The study found that people who took vacations regularly reported feeling less exhausted than those who didn’t take any time away from work; an indication that having some much-needed rest and relaxation can have positive effects on our wellbeing.
Now let’s take a look at some case examples of how taking time off has helped individuals cope with their own stress levels:
One such example is Tom, a software engineer who had been struggling with his mental health for several years due to his demanding job role. After speaking to his doctor about his situation, he decided to take two weeks off work in order to focus on himself and relax without having to worry about deadlines or meetings. During this time Tom was able to get enough rest and reflect on what was causing him so much anxiety in his day-to-day life – something he wouldn’t have been able to do if he hadn’t taken the opportunity for a break.
Another example is Sarah, a university student studying full-time while also working part-time as an administrator in her local council office. Despite enjoying her job, Sarah often felt overwhelmed by her workload which left her feeling exhausted and unable to concentrate properly on her studies. She eventually decided to take two weeks away from both her job and university so she could fully recharge before returning back into her daily routine – something which she believes gave her the motivation needed to get through the rest of term successfully without feeling too drained or stressed out by all of her commitments.
These are just two examples of how taking some well deserved ‘me-time’ away from our jobs can be beneficial for reducing stress levels.
Alternatives to manage stress and maintain good mental health
There are still many other ways we can use our free time effectively in order to maintain good mental health while also keeping up with our day-to-day responsibilities:
- Taking up new hobbies or activities: Doing something enjoyable outside of work will give you something else inspiring you during times when you feel like giving up because of pressure or fatigue related symptoms caused by excessive workloads
- Exercising regularly: Exercise releases endorphins which act as natural painkillers; meaning it’s one way we can combat feelings of low mood associated with being overworked. Yoga is a great example of an exercise used to manage stress
- Socialising: Spending quality time with friends or family members provides us with emotional support which is necessary when experiencing difficult times due to increased pressure at work
- Practicing mindfulness/meditation: Meditation is helpful for calming down anxious thoughts which might arise due to feeling overwhelmed by tasks and responsibilities
- Taking short breaks throughout the day: Every now and again it’s important remind ourselves not too overwork ourselves; so try setting yourself timer reminders every hour or two during your working day as an incentive not too push yourself too hard
Check this out: Why I Started Yoga
Taking regular breaks away from our jobs may seem counterintuitive given all the tasks we have lined up ahead; however research shows that doing so actually helps us stay motivated throughout our busy days whilst also allowing us sufficient rest needed for maintaining good mental health overall– proving once again why having ‘me-time’ really does matter!