Nov. 30, 2022

Bagel Bites: Take a Break

When was the last time you truly decided to take a break?


In a digital world that is constantly demanding our attention at every turn, it's so important to take a step back to rest, reset, recharge, and realign.


In this Bagel Bite, we identify the reasons for and benefits of taking breaks, discuss the difference between diffuse and focused thinking, and share tips for how to build in breaks into your calendar.


After all, who really wants to experience burnout?


You can read the full show notes, transcription, guest bio, and more for this episode at:


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Mentioned in this Episode:

  1. fyt
  2. Live Your Values Podcast
  3. LYV on Facebook
  4. LYV on Instagram
  5. LYV on Twitter

[00:00:00] Bagel: This is a public service announcement. My name is Bagel and I am here to tell you to take a break.

 I am somewhat giggling and laughing at this idea because it's something that I struggle with, but have been actively working on trying to do more and finding the right times to actually follow through with my own advice, and I implore you and encourage you to do it yourself. When I say take a break, I mean it in a couple different ways.

One, literally like just stop. Stop whatever you've been doing for the last hour, for the last day, for the last weeks, even longer than that, there's likely something going on in your life that you're just constantly plugging away at and just trying to go, go, go, go. And I'm here to say: it may be that taking that break and stepping aside from working so hard at that thing is actually the thing that you really need at this point.

There are struggles at work. There could be struggles in relationships, there could be just too many things on the to-do list at home, or too many errands to run or whatever the case may be. And, Sure, follow through with commitments. Make sure you're fulfilling the responsibilities you're making to yourself and to others.

But if you're feeling like you're so wound up that there's no room to breathe, I think that's your body giving you a signal and it's time to slow down and it is okay to step away from that thing. It could be five minutes. It could be a half hour. It could be that you go take a nap if you are lucky enough to be able to work remotely, and maybe you can do that during your lunch hour.

It may be that you need to get away, and I know that that's something for me that is often so helpful is just getting out of my own environment, my, my typical environment and changing up the scenery, like getting out of the home office or even getting out of town. Like sometimes I'll go take a day trip somewhere and just go check out a new coffee shop in a city that's, A short drive away from me where I can get my work done for that day.

Or maybe it's an overnight trip, right? Like it just, it may depend on how much you really need that break and how much pressure you're feeling at the moment. But follow through with that and you know, just to talk a little bit about some of the benefits of doing that. 

There's something I, I've been wanting to kind of talk about a lot on the podcast, and I probably will sort of dedicate a little bit more actual time and space to do that.

But there's this idea of the brain having sort of two different states. Your brain can operate in what I believe is called diffuse thinking and focused thinking. And I'll start with focused. Focused is more, I have a task in front of me and I'm gonna see it through until it's done. I'm going to figure out all the details.

I'm gonna make sure that every little piece of the puzzle is complete. Or maybe it is even, even if you're doing other things like researching, your brain is focused on that activity and it is trying to get that thing done. You're working towards some sort of goal or objective or finishing something to completion often. 

But diffuse thinking happens when you let your brain actually rest and step away from having to focus. And so when you think about how a lot of people talk about their, their best ideas come in the shower, right? Or when they're taking a walk with the dog. There's actual scientific reasoning to back that up, and that is because when you immerse yourself in something, there's, there's a sort of a point of diminishing returns. I'm sure everyone who's pulled an all nighter or studied till late hours in the night, you know, back in school can relate to of just hitting the book so hard. And whether it's writing a report or doing reading or whatever you have to do, and you get to that point where you're like, I can't even think straight. Like, my brain is so overwhelmed and I've just exhausted myself. That's usually the clue to say, you need to step into some diffuse thinking mode.

Get some rest, take a break, take a walk, go shower, do whatever it is you're gonna do. But don't think about the thing that you're trying to accomplish, let it go as best you can. 

And it's amazing when you actually do that without forcing it, your brain will actually start to make these connections. And I do not have a science background, so I will not be sharing the actual technical terms for this right now. But your brain actually does in the background, make these connections between things that it's actually worked on and all of a sudden new ideas might form understanding patterns and connections between ideas will start to form.

And so it's actually healthy for you and it actually may help you progress doing the thing that it is that you wanna accomplish anyway. And I'm not here to say that the reason to take a break is to be more productive. I'm just saying that is one of the benefits. 

But truly, especially during the time of the year that we're in right now, when this episode is gonna be released, there's a lot happening.

It's the end of the year. There's often holidays and family commitments and so much that you're obligated to do, build in some time for you to relax, recharge, rest, and allow yourself to think about what's most important to you right now. As we've talked about many times here on Bagel Bites and with guests reflecting back on what matters to you, of course, your values, but also just the activities that you're signing up for and what you're agreeing to do at work and the commitments you're making to your friends, your family, your partner, all these things.

Ask yourself, are these things I still wanna be doing? And it's okay to actually take a step back and not do something so that you can give yourself a little bit more of that clarity. 

So the last thing I'll leave you with is just sort of a pro level tip to amp this up even more. And this is something I learned early on in my, days of becoming an entrepreneur and managing my own time a little bit more and being more autonomous. Is, It's important not only to give yourself the break when you feel like you need it, but also to actually build in those breaks for yourself.

And you know, for me that may mean clearing my schedule on a certain day of the week. And I've tried different days. I used to hate Tuesdays and I used to, clear my calendar of meetings and not letting anyone book that day because I needed a day to be able to catch up on other things and not have to have social contact. Even if it was meetings or whatever else. And that's now shifted for me. And now I'm trying to see if the middle of the week on Wednesdays is my day to do that and kind of load up the other days with the things that I need to do in terms of communication with people. But build in those breaks as much as you can in your week, in your day.

So if it's, you know, you like to get up early before everybody else and take a little walk or make your coffee and sit and read by yourself or something like that. Try to figure out what's gonna work best for you and build in those breaks into your day, into your week. But also think about the ebbs and flows of your month and year, as well.

You may know that at work, for example, maybe the summertime is. And maybe you can actually shift to do more work in the other seasons. And in the summer, you can actually give yourself a little bit more grace knowing that you don't have as much that you have to get done. And maybe you don't need to put in as many hours or as much effort on things.

And that's okay knowing that you're sort of making up for that in other parts of the year. But if you're working, working, working, you're hustling, hustling, hustling all year long, and you're not building in those break. It's gonna be pretty easy and pretty quick to hit a burnout stage. I know because it's happened to me a lot. And I talk to friends, not just entrepreneurs, but people who are in other jobs and managing families and do all these other things that they need to do.

If you can find what your schedule looks like in terms of the ebbs and flows of your life and your work and all these things. If you can build in breaks and plan to have a weekend where you can rest and recharge, whether that's staying home and doing nothing but sitting on the couch watching Netflix or reading a book. Or maybe for you resting and recharging is taking a trip or going to visit friends and reconnecting with.

Try to figure out ways that you can actually build that into your schedule so that you know it's coming so that you can look forward to those breaks. I know for me it's, it's so helpful when I know that I have like a hard stop where I know I have to like, turn off of work and commitments where I know, Hey, I've got this conference planned, or I've got this trip planned with friends, or I know that we're doing something really fun.

Friday night after work. And so I really, it motivates me to get my stuff done so that it frees me up to actually enjoy those moments where I can sort of let loose and just be. So, I would encourage you to do the same. 


 [00:09:15] Bagel: Please feel free to reach out and let us know what you do to build in breaks and what you do to recharge yourself.

We'll leave the different ways you can contact us in our show notes as usual, but if you wanna reach out or on social media. And just be restful and be easy. And I hope the year winds down for you nicely and that you can build in that time for yourself. Best you can.

We'll see you again next week. For now, take care. 

Thanks again for listening to this episode of the live your values podcast, we really value feedback. So please rate and review us on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast listening app. Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss all new episodes of LYV. Special thanks to Emma Peck and Joel Lindenfeld for branding design, Danielle Gelber for marketing strategy and Rebecca Kittel with fyt for operations support.

Until next time, get out there and LYV.