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Take a break from daily work

I was recently in Los Angeles for a three day marketing conference to learn how to be a better marketer in my coaching practice. It was an awesome learning experience and an eye opener which led me to try something new which I had previously dismissed as “not for me”.

I found myself in a room with a lot of holistic healers. Hmm…I was in sunny California with lots of sprouts, avocados, veggie and fruit juicing, massage therapy, meditation, and spiritual leaders… and just a downright relaxed attitude. Not something a Type -A, New Yorker like myself could easily get into. But, this time it caused me to PAUSE.

The facilitator used meditation every morning to help us to center ourselves and be ready (in a calm way) for the very long day and to be open to whatever happened in the day. Okay a little woo-woo, and I admit I kept one eye open during the process. But, as I focused on my breathing, became still and just listened to her guided meditation, I really liked it.  When I got home, I investigated further. My research led me to chakras, Om, mantras, inner peace, and creativity. It was fascinating to me.  So when I received an e-mail from Oprah introducing me to Deepak Chopra’s free 21 Days of Guided Meditation, I decided to try it. I found that being a skeptic actually helped as I learned to just let the negative labels go and be in the moment. I also found that I gifted myself with 20 minutes of quietness each morning. I felt less stress and anxiety as I started my day. So, now I am a believer and new practitioner of meditation.

When you think about the amount of time that you give to your career, think also about taking a break during each day to take care of yourself as a way to refresh. A 2011 study in the journal Cognition overturns a decades-old theory about the nature of attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods. So, think about a walk around the office, exercise during your lunch break, take a walk on the company campus or the streets of your city, find a quiet place to meditate, take an actual break for lunch away from your desk, or find a serene place to phone a business contact or friend just to see how they are doing.

Often we just say, I don’t have time for that. That is actually what I thought about meditation – who has time for it? So, do one thing for yourself that breaks up your day. Think about what new ways you could take a mental break from your hectic work day — something you have turned your nose up at in the past in the name of “I don’t have time”. Why not PAUSE and reframe your rejection to one of acceptance and a “try it” attitude. You may just find something you love that will be part of your life that will give you that spark of creativity and boost your energy and productivity…I did. Namaste.

Hallie Crawford and Katie Weiser
Certified Career Coaches

P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.