The Benefits of Taking a Pause for Self-Care at Work

by Kira Bruno on August 3, 2023


In today’s fast-paced world, losing sight of the delicate balance between productivity and well-being is easy. With the pressure to deliver, a person can quickly become overwhelmed—it’s enough to drive you into a state of mental exhaustion. Yet, there’s a transformative practice that holds the power to revitalize both our minds and our productivity: the practice of taking a pause for self-care at work.

Embracing the Pause

The idea of embracing the pause is not new. Kevin Cashman’s book “The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward” delves into the concept of leaders adopting periods of reflection and introspection, which can also be applied to self-care at work. This approach encourages us to step back from the chaos, reassess our priorities, and ensure we are maintaining our mental health alongside our work.

One practical application of this concept is seen in the strategy adopted by a CEO I once knew. For six weeks, he would fully immerse himself into his work, followed by rest and rejuvenation. Avoiding the pause made him feel almost like a three-legged stool with one leg missing, a precarious feeling I’m sure many of us can relate to. This model of oscillating between periods of intense work and intentional pause can be beneficial not just for leaders but for all team members.

Fueling Your Success with Self-Care

Self-care is an essential part of maintaining not just our mental health but also our productivity and success. In fact, research has shown a correlation between success and those who start their day with exercise, a powerful form of self-care. This early morning ritual provides a fresh start, sparks creativity, and sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.

Understanding that our ability to work effectively is not infinite is crucial. There is a point at which we need to step away and recharge. We cannot ignore the need to nourish our minds and bodies if we want to perform at our best.

Putting ‘Self’ in Self-Care

Preventing mental health issues starts with recognizing warning signs and understanding our personal needs. Taking time for self-care at work is an active strategy to avert these potential problems. When you sense trouble brewing, taking immediate action to mitigate any harmful effects is essential. This might mean shifting your priorities, altering your routine, or simply acknowledging that you need a breather.

My approach to self-care at work sometimes involves putting myself in a “time-out.” This might involve an outdoor walk or even meditation. Immersing oneself in nature can be incredibly therapeutic, offering a soothing backdrop for reflection and a respite from digital screens.

Equally important to our well-being is nutrition and adequate sleep. Sleep, in particular, plays a pivotal role in mental health. It’s during these restful periods that our minds declutter, process the events of the day, and rejuvenate for what’s ahead.

Navigating Your Journey to Well-being

Investing in self-care at work is not just about reducing stress or avoiding burnout. It’s about fostering a healthy and productive work culture where everyone understands that their worth extends beyond role or output. It’s about nurturing resilient and robust workers that contribute to the organization’s success while thriving in their personal lives.

I encourage you to incorporate a “pause” into your daily routine. Consider it a sanctuary where you can replenish, reflect, and perform at your best. After all, a well-rested, well-nourished mind is a springboard to limitless possibilities. So, let’s press pause and invest in self-care at work. It’s not just a desirable addition to your routine—it’s essential.

Discover Orange County recruiters who understand the value of self-care at work. Reach out to FORTIS Resource Partners today.


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