Are you too busy for a break?

Many years ago, I worked at a family camp.  Management had just changed, and the director they chose was an unpopular choice. Some families stayed at camp to protest the director because they were so upset. Threats and accusations were made. Restraining orders were filed. Some staff were fired, and even more quit. 

However, it was still a family camp.  Many young families were there to relax and enjoy, it was our job to provide a positive experience. In the midst of all the hostility, it was a challenging task. Luckily, we had pool-runs to provide a moment of respite, rejuvenation, and joy.

Pool-runs were led by a veteran staff member.  Every several weeks she would announce over the intercom, “Attention staff, attention staff — this is a pool-run.  I repeat, this is a pool-run.” Staff members on break or staff members that could safely leave their post for several minutes would sprint across camp and fling themselves into the pool — jeans and all.  

I realize that having a pool-run type respite isn’t always possible. Not all workplaces have a culture that allows for it.  Furthermore, not all work allows you to spontaneously take breaks. I actually never got the opportunity to take a pool-run. Every time they were announced, I was in the middle of leading an activity. Still, I did benefit from witnessing the pool-runs. I saw my coworkers emerge refreshed and rejuvenated; it reminded me of the importance of taking my own pool-run type respites.  

If you aren’t regularly taking a respite because it isn’t already embedded into your hectic schedule, I encourage you to schedule one. It can be as simple as taking the time to notice several deep breathes, stretch your back, or balance on one leg. You may find that these seemingly unproductive things help you to live life to the fullest.     

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great week. 

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