17 Ways to give yourself a break

Posted by on Jul 5, 2013 in Personal Development | 10 comments

If you’re not nice to you, who will be? Don’t you deserve to give yourself a break? I know I do!

I’m a recovered perfectionist, fully enjoying a peaceful, happy life after many years stressing over getting every little detail right. I’m sure I’m not alone because when I look around me I see many people burdened by perfectionism and struggling with the self-doubt, intense anxiety, and feelings of guilt and shame that often come with perfectionism.

When I look further I see people who aren’t perfectionists, yet still seem to be overwhelmed with day-to-day life. In this increasingly connected world it’s sometimes difficult to just stop and be. Pressures over money and family push people to the max. And work? Many people are working in jobs were they are expected to do more with less.

Yep, we all need to give ourselves a break- at least one a day!

17 Ways to give yourself a break

give yourself a breakPhoto credit: Twitchphoto

01. Take a break

Most people I know that work in an office job skip breaks entirely. There’s too much to do and any quasi-break is spent at your checking Facebook and does that really count as a break?

Taking a break can actually help you get more done, and it’s a simple and easy way to give yourself a break.

02. Unsubscribe and unplug

How many hours do you waste with digital distractions? Are you subscribed to email lists you don’t really care about? Do you spend hours on Facebook every day?

Maybe it’s time to simplify and declutter your digital life! Put your energies into an activity that you truly enjoy.

03. Leave work on time

Yeah, you’ve got tons of work to do and an ever-growing to-do list- I do, too! Studies show that employees that work overtime actually get less done in the long term, becoming less effective overall.

Forget your to-do list and leave work on time. Go ahead, give it a try!

04. Leave work early

And while we’re on the subject of working less instead of more, leave early every once in a while- maybe even today!

05. Slash your to-do list

Do you ever feel like you’re a slave to your to-do list? There’s so much expected of you and so much you need to do- but maybe there’s items on your list that aren’t really necessary and don’t add value to your work and your life.

Take a hard look at your to-do list and cross off any items that really aren’t necessary or important to you.

06. Ask for help

Asking for help not only helps you- it fosters teamwork, promotes collaborative relationships, and values your time and can give someone else a chance to do something different or use a skill they don’t use every day.

07. Procrastinate

Sometimes it’s okay to put off something that can be left to another day- especially if you find you really need a break today.

08. Make mistakes

Okay, I’m not really suggesting you make mistakes on purpose- I am suggesting making mistakes is a-okay! And, really, mistakes are inevitable. You’re not perfect, are you?

When you do make a mistake you can make the best of it! No need to beat yourself up or get defensive- learn and move on!

09. Stop complaining

Complaining drags you down and you’ve got enough other things to deal with. Go on a complaining diet. Stop complaining and start living!

10. Say no

If you’re truly unable or unwilling to say yes go ahead and say no.

11. Manage your expectations

Expectations is the root of a lot of unhappiness. When you manage your expectations you direct your energy in a more positive direction. Instead of focusing on what you desire, focus on what you do. You’ll be happier and less stressed- so will the people around you!

12. Let go of a grudge

I’ve heard it said that holding on to resentments is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. What was done is over and done. It can’t be changed now. Process your feelings and let go of a grudge.

13. Give someone else a break

Giving someone else a break is a great motivator to give ourselves a break! Both of you deserve it!

14. Be kind to others

And while we’re on the subject of giving someone else a break, there are many ways to be kind to others- especially at work!

The kinder you are to others, the better you’ll feel about you. And the kinder you are to others, the kinder they’ll be to you when you need someone else to give you a break.

15. Be kind to you

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~Dalai Lama

Kindness starts with you! With you, being kind to yourself!

16. Have fun

Have fun with your life. Every day do something you enjoy. Find ways to make mundane tasks more fun. Add fun wherever you can!

17. Do your best and forget the rest

Forget about results- just do your best. After all, that’s all you really can do anyway.

I love your comments! How will you give yourself a break today?


  1. Wow. This helped me so much. I never really realized how much I spend working and not taking a break. I always say to myself,”I’ll talk a break later or in a little bit,” but then I never do. I love that you gave us permission to procrastinate. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m so happy to hear this post helped you, Karrie! Yes, sometimes procrastination can be a good thing (when done in moderation)!

      And I know taking breaks helps me get more done if only I take them. It’s easy to get caught up in “I’ll just finish this first” but kick my own butt out my chair to take a break when I really need it! 😀

      Please join my email list if you want a regular reminder to do things like take breaks! :) http://www.liveandlovework.com/get-unstuck/


  2. Unsubscribe and unplug — I find this very effective. You’re not really having a break unless you distance yourself from your digital buddies..

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Christopher!

      I love your suggestion to unsubscribe and unplug and, honestly, I need to do this more often. It’s easy to fall into habits and not realize how much certain mindless activities are draining- and they are draining! I appreciate this wonderful reminder today.

      Have a grateful day!


  3. This is a great list Chrysta! I use to be one of those who got to work an hour early, didnt take lunch and left later. That just drives you nuts after awhile. One thing I started doing was like you mention taking a break or two and going on walk for lunch and listening to music. This helped recharge me for the rest of the day. Complaining and saying no were two areas I worked on as well. I used to worrying about people messing up projects so I would just do it and that got old. Learn to make mistakes and let others make them too.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Thomas!

      I applaud your efforts to give yourself a break and start living a happier life! Listening to music is another great way to relieve stress- one of my favorites, actually.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Have a grateful day!


  4. So many great ideas here, Chrysta and they’re not secrets but rarely do we ( I ) take the time to do them! I spend more time deleting email from lists that I have no idea how I got on them. Also really love that you’ve given me permission to procrastinate. There are definitely times when putting something off is just want we need to do – and not beat ourselves up about it! Great list!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Alli!

      One of my favorite things about writing this blog is reminding and motivating myself to do a lot of the things I know are a good idea but I didn’t do much. It’s all about creating positive habits!

      The reason I added procrastinate to the list is because I put off writing this post until this morning. I usually write up my post the day before, but yesterday was a holiday and after spending some time in the sun I wasn’t feeling up to writing. I’m glad I put it off because I feel like I came up with a stronger post writing this morning! Procrastination can be a good thing in the right situation!

      Have a grateful day!


  5. Hi Chrysta,

    Your most is empowering in a way. It’s about us giving ourselves permission to do the things we don’t normally want to do. But the truth is we’re better off for it.

    Great post!

    Thanks, Liz

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Liz!

      I love your perspective of giving ourselves permission- yes, I think that’s exactly what this post is about. So often we put our own needs second, or third, or fourth- even last. We don’t feel empowered take care of ourselves first. Giving ourselves permission to do so is a powerful motivator. :)

      Have a grateful day!


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