12 Feb

When we were children in school, and the day was marching along from one subject to another, the best part of the day for most of us was recess. It was a break from sitting still and listening, from answering questions, and trying to be quiet. We got to run outside in the fresh air, laugh and play with friends, make noise and move around as much as we wanted. When it was over and time to return to our classrooms, we felt refreshed and all the extra energy building up inside us was released. It was like a reset button to get us going again. As adults we may have forgotten about recess, but it’s still an effective way for us to refresh ourselves and get a little release from the stress and pressure of our everyday tasks. We can incorporate a little recess into our daily routines, go outside, take a walk, get something to drink or a snack, and enjoy a change of scenery. It need not take long to be effective. Just a few minutes away from our routine can refresh us and give us a boost. Even though we’re well past elementary school, recess can still have a place in our lives. If we take it every day, plan for it and enjoy it, it can be a valuable asset we give to ourselves. It can bring us new perspective and fresh ideas. Just like when we were kids, recess may reset our day and make us feel better.

Going outside for a short break of fresh air has all kinds of benefits. Some studies show that when we go outdoors, we have increased energy and a heightened sense of well-being. Stress can cause an elevation in blood pressure and heart rate, and increase muscle tension. Additionally it may suppress our immune systems and makes us more susceptible to illness and infection. Being outside, even for a short time, may reduce stress, making us feel better emotionally and physically. With all we have to do and the stress attached to it, taking a short recess may bring us all those benefits.

When we’re bogged down in the weeds of everything we’re trying to accomplish, sometimes we can only see what’s right in front of us. If we are intensely focused on our work we may not even look up for hours on end. Stopping for a few minutes and taking a break to go outside and take a short walk, and get a change in scenery can do wonders for our creative processes. We see things differently and even a few minutes away can make us think of things in a different way. New ideas may emerge and when we return, we may find we have answers to problems that before had confounded us. A short recess may recharge us and help us to move forward. It’s something that’s easy to forget but if we schedule it, and make time for it, it can have long range benefits. We don’t have to work constantly and if we take a short break from time to time, just to let our minds wander and look at something new, we might find our days moving forward more easily and with less effort. Recess was a great idea when we were children. It’s a great idea for us as adults too. We can take it, enjoy it, and make the most of it, and it will reduce stress, and increase our happiness.

Today if you’ve been working hard on something that has your complete attention, look up and take a break. Go outside and enjoy a short walk. Look around and let your mind wander. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed you’ll feel and when you return to your work, everything will be just a little easier. You do so much. You deserve to be comfortable and enjoy yourself. Take recess today.  You’ll love it!

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