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90 Ways to Give Yourself a Break (Without Going on Vacation!)

  • Do you spend hours glued to a screen, or on a desk?
  • Tired with the monotonous nature of your daily work and life?
  • Or, perhaps you’re an overachiever and just like to push yourself until you feel overextended?

Whatever the reason — there’s only so much you can take.

And, no matter who you are, or what you do, that’s no way to live. It not only adds stress to your life (leading to physical and mental problems), but it robs you of everyday happiness, until you begin to feel physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually exhausted.

And, since it usually never works to rant, “Stop the world, I want to get off,” there are things you need to do to give yourself a break from everything, when you need it.

Sure, it may be hard to get away for a vacation or even for the weekend, but there are things you can do, to take a few moments, and find everyday joy in your life.

In this post, we’ve listed 90 ways to give yourself a break, whether you have a few minutes, a few hours or a few days.

Read on to discover how you can de-stress, relax, take a step back to evaluate, reset your perspective, get a handle on your emotions, and lots more!

Table of Contents

Give Yourself a Physical Break

  1. Go for a walk. A brisk walk can instantly improve your mood, uplift your energy, and is great for your heart.
  2. Jog or run. Need to clear your head? Go for a run, sweat it out, and burn off the frustration.
  3. Skip the stairs and take the elevator — sometimes it’s okay to take the easy path!
  4. Miss gym or your regular aerobics class, just for a day, and do a few stretches at home, or simply put your feet up.
  5. Dance like no one is watching! Play your favorite song and just let go.
  6. Walk barefoot on the beach or the grass, and practice “earthing” to ground your energy.
  7. Sleep in. Go to bed earlier or take an extra 15-minutes to get out of bed.
  8. Take a power nap. Known for its immense health benefits, take a 20-minute power nap to instantly re-energize!
  9. Try yoga for physical and mental vitality. Clear your mind, uplift your spirit, and strengthen your core.
  10. Simply smile. Studies have shown that smiling out of joy or even just making the facial expressions required, releases mood-endorsing endorphins and has long-term health benefits.
  11. Laugh out loud. You don’t need to join a laughing club to enjoy its therapeutic effects! Simply play your favorite comedy show, movie, or call a friend who cracks you up.
  12. Sit in an infrared sauna to release toxins, relax your muscles and sweat out your worries.
  13. Soak in a hot bath with aromatic essential oils to relax your mind and tired muscles and joints.
  14. Eliminate sugar, alcohol and processed foods to feel cleaner and healthier from the inside.
  15. Try a detoxifying cleanse to flush out toxins and give your digestive system a break.
  16. Treat yourself to a massage to relax, alleviate stress and anxiety, release toxins, and give your immune system a boost.
  17. Use progressive muscle relaxation to tense and relax one muscle group at a time, starting with your face, your neck and shoulders, hands, core, legs, all the way down to your feet and toes. Experience instant stress relief and well-being!
  18. Drink herbal tea to calm your nerves instead of reaching for your usual caffeinated fix.
  19. Go to the park with your children, throw a frisbee, kick a ball, play hopscotch, and just let loose.
  20. Ride a bike around town and discover places you might have never seen before.
  21. Sign up for a sport or hobby you’ve always wanted to give a try.
  22. Walk your pet, give them a wash and a feed, and spend time with your loyal companion.
  23. Get frisky to release tension, and be sure to make time for pillow talk.
  24. Eat mindfully and gratefully, and savor each mouthful. Don’t eat at your desk or in front of the TV.
  25. Indulge in a favorite treat you love to eat. Give into your cravings once in a while, and don’t feel guilty later.

Give Yourself a Mental Break

  1. Make time to meditate, even if it’s literally just for a few minutes each day. Let your thoughts flow freely, without any judgement.
  2. Be mindful doing everyday tasks like washing the dishes and folding laundry. Research shows that performing mundane tasks mindfully, is a great stress reliever.
  3. Breathe deeply and slowly, just for 30-seconds as a mini-meditation, to clear your thoughts, calm your nerves and alleviate anxiety.
  4. Get out in nature by going for a hike or simply walking to your backyard, and feeling the grass beneath your feet.
  5. Try gardening to boost your mood, get sunlight, and connect deeply with the earth.
  6. Get a desktop zen garden. Comb the sand and arrange the stones to calm your senses, and truly experience and live in the present moment, rather than contemplating the past or worrying about the future.
  7. Enjoy a guilty pleasure such as indulging in some online shopping, reading a tacky magazine, or binge watching a new series — all in moderation, of course!
  8. Enroll in a cooking class or whip up a new dish you’ve always wanted to try. Cooking is therapy; it engages your senses, and is very gratifying.
  9. Order in. Too tired to make dinner? Take a break and order in your favorite take-out.
  10. Get creative and start a new DIY project such as upholstering an old sofa or painting your kitchen cabinets.
  11. Art therapy has shown to minimize anxiety and stress. So, keep your worries aside as you color a mandala or work on a paint-by-numbers kit.
  12. Sing along to your favorite song. It’s hard to stress over something when you’re being expressive!
  13. Forget your bills and statements just for a day, to ease your financial worries. They’re not going anywhere, and you can handle them tomorrow.
  14. Take a break from negative chatter around you, whether it’s at home or at work. Negative people drain your energy and you can lend an ear later.
  15. Just be. A wise man has said, ‘Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.’ So, sometimes its okay to choose to do nothing, and just be.
  16. Focus on a single task instead of multi-tasking, and let the distractions slip away. Accomplishing one goal at a time can be deeply motivating and rewarding.
  17. Take breaks during complex tasks to replenish the mind and avoid mental stress and exhaustion. Research shows more breaks lead to more "Aha moments."
  18. Get a change of scenery. Simply leaving your work environment for a brief time can help your brain switch gears and raise efficiency.
  19. Grab a healthy snack. Recharge the mind and replenish the body — a no brainer, right?
  20. Spark creativity. If you need to use your logical left-brain, deliberately pick a break activity, like doodling, that will activate your creative right brain.
  21. Switch tasks when you can’t take a break. So, for example, if you’re creating content and have writer’s block, switch to picking out some images instead, and then return to the original task with a new perspective.
  22. Sit in silence and take a quiet moment to be aware of your thoughts. Jumping from one task to another can make you restless and disperse your energy. Be still, to go from a restless to relaxed mindset.
  23. Learn a new skill and take a break from doing things the way you’ve always done them. This is essential to evolve your thinking, for both personal and professional growth.
  24. Actively monitor your thoughts, and deliberately try to cut out any negative thinking and chatter in your head. Redirect your thoughts to positive and hopeful areas.
  25. Don’t read the newspaper for a day and take the time to do something enjoyable. You can do without all the depressing information that the news is often filled with.
  26. Visit a museum or gallery and take in the history and arts, to relax your brain from the daily grind.
  27. Write a journal, even if just a few lines a day. It’s a great way to process your thoughts, self-reflect, set goals, and stay accountable.
  28. Learn to say no and politely decline if there’s something you really don’t want to take on. Put yourself first.

Give Yourself an Emotional Break

  1. Be thankful and list everything you’re grateful for in writing. This is a powerful reminder to be aware of all the good you have in your life, even when luck is not in your favor.
  2. Learn how to practice emotional intelligence to understand what goes on in your heart and mind, so you can take a break from making impulsive decisions, delay gratification, and listen and relate to others around you.
  3. Observe how you react to situations and make changes to your response. For example, take a break from getting angry when provoked, breathe, countdown or simply walk away from an argument.
  4. Release emotions and worries by writing them on a piece of paper and burning it. Fire is cleansing and transformative and enables the purging of negative charges, allowing you to let go.
  5. Find emotional balance by practicing energetic healing, aura balancing and chakra cleansing to ground your energy.
  6. Swap regret with hope. Take a break from thinking what you should have done, and shift your focus to what you can do now. You’ll find that doing that is much more empowering and far less draining.
  7. List your successes and write down all of your achievements. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished, rather than dissatisfied with what you haven’t done.
  8. Crying is good for you, and helps release feel-good chemicals that ease both physical and emotional stress and pain. So, don’t hold back the tears, and have a good cry.
  9. Try not to worry. Sure, it’s hard but proactively give yourself a break from worrying. It zaps your energy, and really does nothing to make anything better.
  10. Don’t be a victim, and take responsibility for your actions and decisions. Once you take responsibility, you are in control, and have the power to change things.
  11. Let go of grudges or anything that is holding you back. You know what they are, and you’ll feel a great weight has been lifted off your shoulders when you do.
  12. Choose to be happy. No matter what is going on in your life, take a break from feeling low, and make a deliberate effort to choose joy.
  13. Stop complaining, as it does nothing to fix your problems, and just consumes your energy.
  14. Forgive and move on. We know it’s hard, but you’ll find that life becomes a lot easier when you let go of the burden of stuck and unsolved emotions. You’ll discover a renewed peace that helps you get on with your life.
  15. Express love to those around you. Take a break from your busy day and tell someone you love them, hug your children, and call your mother.
  16. Be kind. The better you treat others, the better you’ll feel about yourself.
  17. Accept yourself and the situations around you. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking what things should be, rather than accepting things the way they are. Accept that everything happens for a reason and you’ll be a lot happier.

Give Yourself a Digital Break

  1. Make your mornings tech-free. Take a break from your emails and the TV for at least 20-minutes in the morning. Instead choose to meditate, pray, do yoga or simply enjoy your coffee in silence. Doing this will have a powerful impact on how you feel for the rest of the day.
  2. Don’t switch on the news. The news is more than often filled with depressing information, so take a break from it, especially in the morning. You want to start your day on a positive note.
  3. Keep your phone on airplane mode, especially when you’re working on a task and need to be productive. A break from all the notifications and distractions will help you get more done.
  4. Take tech-free time. This could be just an hour a day, where you turn off your phone, close your laptop and switch off your tablet. Great to do before bedtime to curb blue light, and focus on other relaxing activities such as taking a warm shower and cuddling up with a good book.
  5. Designate a device-free zone in your house where devices are not allowed. Make sure everyone follows the rules. Good areas are your bed and the dining table.
  6. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Give your eyes a break from digital eye strain by looking out of the window or at an object at least 20 feet away, every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds.
  7. Get up from your desk and take frequent breaks from sitting all day. It’s said that ‘sitting is the new smoking,’ and you need to move for at least 2-5 minutes every hour to improve wellness, and save yourself from neck and back pain.
  8. Do a digital detox where you refrain from using your tech devices for a day to a few days. Take this time to self-reflect, engage in fulfilling activities, and connect with your inner self.
  9. Ask yourself ‘why.’ When you pick up your phone ask yourself what you’re really seeking — getting something done, or just stimulation, and acceptance? Think of other ways you can achieve that without going online.
  10. Go EMF-free and give yourself a break from all the electromagnetic radiation your devices constantly emit. Put your phone in a faraday bag to effectively block wireless radiation.

Give Yourself a Spiritual Break

  1. Be of service by taking a break from your hectic life and serving others when you can. This could be monetary, but has a much bigger spiritual impact if you take up volunteering and commit and share your time and skills, even if for a couple of hours.
  2. Take time to pray, whether it is to a higher power, your values or what you find important in life. Research shows praying reduces ego and increases humility and self-discipline, and gives you a better sense of self.
  3. Say positive affirmations to boost your self-confidence and give yourself some much needed self-love.
  4. Believe the best is yet to come and that something remarkable is about to happen in your life. Take a break from self-doubt and being negative. The stronger your belief, the more positivity you’ll start to see flowing into your life.
  5. Don’t hold onto anger and resentment, as those memories will only keep you stuck where you are. Release all negative feelings about the past, and you’ll experience mental, emotional and spiritual freedom.
  6. Accept change and take a break from trying to resist things you can’t control. Begin to see change as a positive thing — an opportunity to grow and evolve the body, mind and spirit.
  7. Practice smudging or energetic spiritual cleansing to dispel negativity and attract positive vibes into your life. Saying a smudging prayer as you burn White Sage Smudge Sticks or natural Palo Santo Incense Sticks is a powerful way to tell the universe what you want to attract into your life.
  8. Live in the moment, rather than in the past or in the future. The suffering most of us experience as a direct result of our thoughts is unnecessary and intensely draining. By focusing on the here and now, we free our mind and soul from painful thoughts and worries.
  9. Learn from experiences, good and bad. When everything seems to go wrong, it teaches us some of the life’s greatest lessons, making us mentally, emotionally and spiritually stronger.
  10. Eat a clean diet, don’t drink alcohol, and try intermittent fasting to purify your body and elevate your vibration. If your body is indeed a temple, it’s important to take care of both your physical and energetic systems to enhance your spirituality.

Key Takeaways

We hope you’re convinced about the importance of taking breaks in your life. Remember, as you continue to take breaks — physically, mentally, emotionally, digitally and spiritually — be mindful of the results.

Ask yourself, which breaks…

  • Help you feel more productive?
  • Increase your creativity?
  • Encourage motivation?
  • Bring peace of mind?
  • Enhance your spirituality?

And, also which breaks, disrupt your workflow, make you overly complacent, and seem to be doing more harm than good.

Be sure to mindfully notice what works, and what doesn’t.

Choose the strategies that work best for you and you’ll be on your way to better health and happiness!

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