Ways Your Body Tells You to Take a Break

Usually, on Fridays, we tell you to get outside or exercise. Going outside isn’t a great idea right now for huge portions of the country! And, sometimes, it is vital to take a break and allow yourself to rest.

Many of us believe in scheduling our rest. Vacations can be a great way to recharge. But not all of us can go on vacation. Or can plan to rest regularly. If you don’t take any breaks, your body will take one for you, and you will get sick or burned out.

We ignore stress and push through it. “The problem is, we become conditioned early on to stop listening to our bodies,” said Jennifer King of the Center on Trauma and Adversity at Case Western Reserve Univ. “A cascade of changes happen in the body when the stress response is activated in a sustained way. When the dose is too big, and there’s not a clear beginning or end, that causes wear and tear on the body.”

When our bodies are stressed, they release cortisol and adrenaline, decrease insulin production and tighten blood vessels. This reaction can be beneficial in dangerous moments. But if you are living in a constant state of stress, it takes a toll on the heart, can increase weight gain and arthritis and can worsen blood sugar.

Our body shows us early warning signs of stress and it’s essential to listen!

Stress can impact you mentally in many ways. When you are stressed out, you can have a struggle with memory and recall. It can also make exercising, eating well and seeing friends overwhelming chores. It can also lead to outbursts and indecisiveness. People under a lot of stress often have difficulty maintaining their relationships.

If you are constantly suffering from colds or other viruses, it’s a sign of being stressed out. Cortisol can hinder the immune system responses that fight off illnesses. Being constantly anxious and stressed out will leave your immune system in poor shape.

Other stress responses that are often thought to be just superstitions are real! Stress breakouts can be a real problem. It harms your completion, can wreck your sleep and upset your stomach. None of them are old wives tales!    

Therapist Ashley Fields said, “We don’t always realize how much tension we’re holding in our bodies until we make it a point to intentionally observe what we’re feeling, and where. It’s a pulse on how you’re doing, and you’ll collect information that can help you make meaningful lifestyle changes.”

While stress is inevitable, we have to remember it’s not something we can’t control. We have effective coping tools to manage stress, and we need to remind ourselves of that,” said clinical psychologist Dr. Adam Borland.

Doctors recommend resetting when stress is getting to you. You don’t necessarily need to take a vacation, but taking time for yourself is essential. You can call someone you love. On the other hand, you can turn off your phone for five minutes or step away from your computer!

Instead of saving up for this big dose of calm and relaxation, think about how you can strategically and intentionally pepper breaks throughout your day,” said Prof. King.

Looking at photos, working on a puzzle and other relaxing activities can be a wonderful break. Usually, the advice includes going outside. But, depending on where you live, that might be stressful today!

Banner image: Teona Swift via Pexels

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