By: B. Chase Wall

While it seems that many of us are always on the go, I believe it is important to take breaks- especially when stressed. It may be hard to admit, but we do have limits (both physical and emotional) and should be aware of them so we do not overexert ourselves. If we ignore the warning signs our bodies give us, it is easy to burn into the ground. So, here are several signs that your body is telling you to take a break.

Being Sick

While sometimes being sick is unavoidable, it is a clear sign that your body is telling you to slow down. With winter just around the corner, nobody wants to get sick but it does happen and taking care of yourself to staying healthy and recovering quicker. You should rest even if you have a lot on your plate. I know I did not always take the time my body needed. In college, I attended classes while sick because I did not want to deal with the consequences of missing class (missing material and work). Doing this was a bad idea because it only made me sicker and I never gave myself a break to recuperate. I’ve always found that a bowl of chicken noodle soup, a favorite movie, and an early bedtime are great ways to recover!

Feeling Stressed

Even though stress seems to be a normal part of life, stress is an indicator that you have reached your body’s limit. Taking time off (and a few breaths!) is important in allowing yourself to de-stress and unwind. From work to maintaining relationships, there are a lot of factors in everyday life that can lead to stress. Signs of stress can be low energy, irritability, and loss of appetite. Instead of simply continuing to push yourself, take a deep breath and take the time to allow yourself to clear your mind.

Not being able to focus

In order to correctly complete daily tasks, we need to be able to focus. So, if you are having a hard time focusing, it may mean that your body is telling you to relax, take a break, and catch your breath. Ignoring these signs will mean simply continuing to run yourself into the ground to the point you will need a longer break. When you start to have a hard time focusing, just remember to take a few deep breaths and do what you need to do in order to relax and possibly refresh.

Overall, whether you are sick, stressed or cannot focus, breaks can be most helpful when they are distinct from what you were doing. If you can, eat a healthy snack, go for a walk, read or a book and try to set your mind apart from what is troubling you. So, remember, that when your body feels off or different, you probably need a break. Please, listen to your body as it will not be the end of the world if you take a breather and allow yourself to relax. You will most likely be able to be more productive after a break!

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