IT can be one of the hardest things to admit you need.
But after England Manager Gareth Southgate said he “needs a rest” after the
Euros, it has shone a light on the importance of rest.
After England’s defeat against Italy, Southgate said: “I need some time to go away […] and reflect on the whole tournament.
"I need to rest.
"It's an amazing experience but to lead your country in these tournament's it takes its toll and I need a break now.”
In a society where hard work and resilience is rewarded, so many of us are guilty of not taking breaks, or admitting to needing one, even when we feel physically and/or mentally exhausted.
But Gareth Southgate publicly admitting he needs to rest could encourage others to admit that they too need to take that break.
Online fitness platform Results Wellness Lifestyle's life coach Jeff Spires says taking breaks when we need them are incredibly empowering.
He says: “Lots of people think that taking a step back from their responsibilities or admitting that they need a rest from a stressful job or situation is a sign of weakness, but really it’s a huge sign of strength.
“Stress, anxiety or physical exhaustion cannot be tolerated long term and have a hugely negative impact on our health.
“If we are able to identify times of increased stress and realise that it is important to give ourselves a break, we are taking control of the situation, preventing it from getting worse and empowering ourselves to come back stronger.”
Here Jeff Spires gives his top eight reasons we should all be more open to taking a “Southgate Break”:
1. It puts YOU in control
Stress and anxiety can often come from a place of feeling out of control of a situation or situations.
If you are able to listen to your body and acknowledge that you need a break, the simple act of taking some rest can relieve that feeling of being out of control.
The rest alone is empowering you because it is putting you back in the drivers seat of you life.
2. It promotes self confidence
When you take a break, you are not shirking responsibility, you are taking care of yourself.
When we actively make decisions to look after ourselves this self care helps us to connect with our thoughts and feelings and helps to build our confidence.
3. It reduces blood pressure
Stress and physical exhaustion increases our blood pressure, putting us at a higher risk of many health concerns including heart attacks.
Taking breaks, even for as little as a few hours, can significantly help to reduce your blood pressure, hugely benefiting your physical health.
4. It gets your respect from you peers
Admitting you need to take a break, in order to come back stronger, is a hugely respectful thing to do.
Whether you are a manger or a member of a team, being open and honest about how you are feeling illustrates that you are confident and professional.
By taking a break and returning in a stronger state of mind you will likely gain the trust and respect of others as well as helping to set examples for others to do the same.
Signs you need a break
Sometimes you might feel it’s obvious that you need a break, but for
many people, stress creeps up slowly making it hard to identify when
you are at risk of being overwhelmed and burned out.
While everyone responds slightly differently to stress in unique ways,
here are some key signs that you might need to take a break.
- Changes in eating habits – either over-eating or under-eating
- Difficulty concentrating
- Regularly picking up sickness bugs
- Constantly feeling tired
- A lack of daily motivation
- Low mood
- Experiencing brain fog or memory loss
- Experiencing headaches or stomachaches
- A sudden poor performance at work
- Inability to sleep
- Problems in your relationships
5. It helps you sleep better
Stress and anxiety impact our sleep because the prevent the release of melatonin – the sleep hormone.
Frequently being in a heightened state of alertness delays the onset of sleep and rapid, anxious thoughts at night prevent good quality sleep from happening.
Insufficient sleep causes further stress and it’s a vicious cycle.
Taking a break helps us to reset and rid ourselves of those nightly thoughts and worries, helping us to get better sleep and in turn, reducing the stress levels further.
6. It makes you stronger in the future
Trying to “push through” stress or exhaustion doesn’t work, it only adds to the situation, prolonging it and making it harder.
Taking a break when early signs of stress and anxiety are occurring helps us to reduce these responses down quickly and effectively and allows us to return to the situation or workplace feeling motivated, stress free and restored.
7. It helps you think clearer
Chronically triggered stress can lead to decreased creativity, memory problems and brain fog, making concentration and clear thinking difficult.
Taking a rest creates a break in the stress cycle can lead to sharper thinking and increased creativity in all areas of your life further down the line.
8. It increases productivity
When you take a break and reduce your stress levels, your anxiety levels, your exhaustion and you regulate your mood, you will quickly find your levels of productivity in all areas of your life improve.
You will like become better at your job, happier and more available in your relationships, more invested in your friends and family and more able to enjoy life.
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