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Sunday, September 18, 2016

How to Take Restful Breaks #outofthepagesiread

For #outofthepagesiread this time, I'm reviewing an online article I read from This article was about how to take truly restful breaks from work that would truly energize you instead of making you more tired.

The headline appealed to me at once because I'm reaching a kind of peak point at work. At this time of the year, the marking peaks and I end up having to bring more work home to finish. This on top of the admin stuff as well. 

So what the article advocates is pretty surprising. Most people would think that in such a scenario, faced with looming piles of paper, one just has to buckle up and get everything done in one sitting in order to enjoy later. However, research found that this method would wreck the most psychological damage on you. A quote from the article reads:

"The psychological reality is that your mental and physical reserves are limited and it is only by taking frequent short breaks of a truly restful nature that you will fulfil your true potential."

Thinking back on how I handled large piles of marking, I find that this could be true in several ways. One, stress accumulates from sitting down for long periods marking or doing work, especially with the number of mistakes found. -_-!!! Two, after a long period of work, I find myself too tired to do other activities that would otherwise enrich me. Who has not felt too tired to go to the gym after a long day at work? Or ended up sitting on the couch potato-ing in front of the television? In the end, even after getting the work done (or in worse cases, the work may not even be finished yet!) you find that you have not really accomplished anything you wanted in life. 

The article recommends several ways to get around this:

1. Fully switch off
2. Take frequent short breaks from work
3. Get out of the office

I tried no.2 when I was marking at home and it does help. After marking around 10 or so worksheets, I would get up from my desk to go to the toilet, get a glass of juice, talk to husband. Sometimes, I worked on my diary project. I found that after I finished marking, I was less tired and lethargic. (Could have been the effect of the juice...) 

I have also tried no.3 on some occasions when I brought papers out of school to mark at my favourite cafe. The change of environment works too and I was less stressed by the mistakes I marked. Not only that but being in a different environment also meant that I could look forward to walking around or shopping after I was done, a good motivation to finish the work! 

Funny thing about work is that our society always seems to give the message that to be crazily busy is an honourable thing. It is a badge of honour to be able to tell people you are busy. If you don't believe me, next time you are around people, try telling them about taking breaks and long weekends doing nothing. You will probably be met with replies like "Oh, but I'm so busy..." 

But in the end, where does it lead? Long lists of unfulfilled dreams, places to go, things to try. I always think, would I really regret on my dying bed that I didn't spend more time at work? (If I got fired, maybe I would...) Or would I regret that I didn't travel, didn't learn new instruments, languages, new skills...?

It is an interesting article with points to make one think. I highly recommend it for those who feel they come home too tired from work every day.

You can read the full article here.

Want to read other similar articles? I recommend this writer's website. She also has a mailing list that I subscribe to:

Jocelyn K Glei