Fighting the "I Can't Take a Break" Mindset

We’re humans first before we’re employees. We have needs. Even at work.

Imagine hearing this from your boss: “I suppose if you need to use the bathroom during your shift, you may, but it would be more convenient for everyone if you didn’t. Not today, please. Won’t you have time to use the bathroom after you get home? I’d prefer that you not take any minutes away from the project to evacuate your body’s waste.”

Wouldn’t you think that was strange…and cruel? 

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Refueling isn’t optional. Better food and a break for your brain is important to your body just like eliminating waste. This is what humans in “human resources” do: eat, breathe, think for themselves, experience emotions, and have bodily functions.

For most of us, work is difficult whether it’s the kind that’s tough on your body, tough on your brain, or both. If you do mostly “knowledge-based” work, you need a mid-shift break just as much as people with physically demanding jobs. You may not always feel like you need break, but not feeling it isn’t the same as not needing it. And pushing through doesn’t mean you’re strong or of better character. It could mean that you’re…well…kinda mean to yourself. You deserve better.

Taking lunch seriously can prevent exhaustion and bitterness. You’re not helping anyone by burning yourself out in an otherwise wonderful job—or starting to resent the people there. 

What ground do you think you’re losing by recharging? You’re putting yourself at an advantage over those who don’t realize it’s essential. It’s just 30 minutes. You can do this.