The Importance of Taking Breaks

Self care. It’s that buzzword everyone (including me) uses these days as an excuse to treat yo’self. Example: Guys, let me eat this whole pizza by myself in peace. I’m practicing self care because pizza makes me happy. Maybe eating an entire pizza isn’t the healthiest choice for your body, but there’s actually a lot of truth in prioritizing self care to achieve overall happiness and  using well-earned breaks is certainly one way to get there. And you know what? Maybe for you, that means occasionally indulging in pizza when you normally maintain a strict diet.

Beyond giving you excuses to eat pizza, let’s dive deeper into this concept of taking breaks. When is the last time you took a vacation? According to the Project Time Off Survey, Americans are forfeiting more paid vacation days than ever. We live in a culture where taking breaks can be seen as a sign of weakness and laziness. Being constantly busy, on the other hand, is often a sign of success and ambition. However, research proves otherwise. Check out these findings from the Project Time Off Survey:

  • Those who plan time for relaxation are happier with their relationships, health, and jobs
  • 38% of employees say they want to be seen as work martyrs by their boss, but these self-proclaimed work martyrs are 74%-84% less likely to receive raises and promotions than those who haven’t adopted the work martyr attitude.
  • Employees who forfeit their vacation days are 23%-27% less likely than non-forfeiters to have been promoted within the last year.

No matter how you want to interpret a break or vacation, taking one at all is a great start.  Don’t restrict your idea of vacation to an exotic trip. Think about the where the stress and chaos is coming from your life and set aside dedicated time away from these stressors.  Maybe that means turning off your phone and computer for a couple hours. Maybe that means calling a babysitter for the kids. Or maybe you do need that week-long vacation to jet off on an adventure.

Here are some of the ways I like to take breaks!

Exercising Over the Lunch Hour – Instead of spending the lunch hour eating while working at my desk, I head to the gym almost every afternoon. Working out over the lunch hour gives me both a mental break and physical relief from sitting at a desk all day. On work days where I’m unable to use my lunch hour, I feel antsy, unfocused, and unmotivated.

Taking Blogging Breaks – Running a blog while working a full time job is tough. I’ve found I get easily burnt out when I pressure myself to use all my free time to work on Honeydew. Instead, I’ve found a good balance of scheduling work time for the blog and planning free time. That way, I stopped feeling guilty about time away from the blog when I had plans with friends or if I wanted to give my brain a break. But I was also okay with turning down plans if it conflicted with my pre-scheduled work time. Now, the time I set aside for my blog is used more productively because I’m more focused and I’m already in the work mindset.

Using All PTO Days – I am lucky enough to have paid time off with my work and you can bet I’m going to use it all. You already know I love traveling. Planning big vacations gives me something to look forward to when I’m feeling burnt out at work or from the never ending to-do list that comes with life. But I also find that taking a couple of single days off here and there just to relax at home still has a postive effect. Any break at all allows me to return to my work feeling refreshed and ready to check off life’s to do list. 

Junk Food Cheat Days – I don’t diet. I do, however, believe in maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle which involves a balance of nutritious foods mixed with indulgences in moderation. On most days I’m eating unprocessed foods, little to no sugar, and fresh produce. But hell naw, nobody’s going to stop me from eating McDonald’s on long drives, pizza rolls when I’m drunk, mac n’ cheese when I’m hungover, and donuts when they’re free at work.  Taking little breaks through cheat meals makes it easier to maintain my overall healthy eating habits because I know I’m not denying myself the foods that make me happy.

So take a damn break already! Unwind. Relax. Breathe. You’ll return to your goals, your work, and your deadlines ready to kick some major booty. What is your next planned break or vacation? I’d love to hear!

P.S. I am absolutely in love with this convertible cork crossbody/clutch. (Ugh I’m such a sucker for alliteration.) It’s so perfect for summer! Gold flecks within the cork reflect the light beautifully and it comes with a removable gold chain so you can use it as a crossbody bag or a clutch. You’ll definitely see it make an appearance in the blog again!

P.P.S I love this off the shoulder romper (which is on sale for only $25 by the way), but full disclosure – I had to cut off the tassels on the sleeves. They were way too obnoxiously long. How am I supposed to dip my fries in the ketchup when there are strings and tassels in the way?!

Text pic
romper: TJ Maxx
clutch: Francesca’s  (similar, similar)
shoes: Merona

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16 Replies to “The Importance of Taking Breaks”

  1. I love your tips and they are so so necessary in life to keep your mind straight, calm, happy and enjoying what you are doing. That romper is also super cute on your!
    xo Jen –

  2. The outfit really suits you, you look so nice!

  3. I recently just started back running and I feel so good once I’m done. Self-care is important I wish it was something that just came naturally I think the world would be a little happier if everyone took better care of themselves I love this look!!

  4. When I had a 9-5 I was the king of taking every sick day and using so much PTO lol. Gotta do it to stay sane 🙂 great post!

  5. I loved the junk food cheat days concept because trying to eat healthy all the time is no fun when I love pizza, fries and hot wings, so I will have one or two days a month for junk food cheat days. And I love your romper.

  6. Such a great and timely post! It’s so easy to find yourself working all the time. You have to be disciplined to be intentional about taking breaks! It really is medicine for increased productivity and happiness for life! Sooo good!

  7. Great post! Thanks for sharing the insights! I found myself needing breaks constantly, and taking even just a short one really does help me become energized and efficient again!

    Julia || Closet de Jules || Recent Post – Affordable Swimsuits Review from Amazon

  8. We should definitely invest in ourselves the same amount, or more that we exert into our work, and social lives. I am all for taking annual leave (who would say no to a paid holiday?!), and taking social media detoxes. what’s the longest you’ve gone?

  9. I love the romper on you gorgeous! It is so important that you allocate time for yourself. If only I had learned this sooner in life. All of need that proper time to recharge and come back stronger!
    xo Debbie |

  10. Jen!! I couldn’t agree more especially with using personal days but also with just being happy with where I am right now. In my twenties it was a rat race to finish my degree, land that job and all the other milestones you are “suppose” to hit. When I graduated with my MPA last year, a friend said to me (not even a week after completing a GRUELING masters program, while working full time, running a household and raising two boys) “whats next??”. I held back the desire to flip the table over (cause Im a lady) and said, “actually I am just going to live in this space right now” and meant it. This is slightly off what you are saying, but its in the same family. LOL Thanks for being such an honest writer! 🙂

  11. That is such an interesting stat about people who actually use their vacation time being more likely to be promoted! I think it just improves your overall attitude and outlook to take a break!

    Beauty & Colour | Vegan Lifestyle Blog

  12. This Off shoulder romper looks fabulous on you! I love your advice and totally agree on that you actually have to have a balance between working and personal life. I know I spend too much of my free time on blogging and I need to start give myself a break from time to time to enjoy myself! Thank you for your advice❤️

  13. Jennifer savvygreystyles says: Reply

    You romper is so cute and I love all your tips. Taking a break even just for a staycation is so important.

  14. Again, love all these tips of yours! I for one make sure I use ALL of my PTO days no matter what!!! As a matter of fact I’m using at least 7 of them in the next 2 months!! Enjoy your time too babe!!

  15. You look gorgeous in this romper babe! This post is a great one too. People don’t realize how important breaks are to your overall being. Glad you’re putting the pressure on.


  16. This rings so true for me I’m constantly traveling but never actually taking a vacation

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