Sanity Breaks

8 Jan

Today’s weather was unseasonably warm. Light jacket, no scarf, no hat. Now, while it wasn’t warm enough for me to go frolicking in the streets of NYC wearing a bikini, the 57 degrees in January did feel pretty great! Before running a few errands and jumping  into my Saturday afternoon, I decided to take what I call my daily “sanity break.” Sanity Breaks are what I jokingly refer to as personal time. Let’s face it, life can be so overwhelming and stressful. With all of the academic, professional, personal, and familial responsibilities we juggle in our daily lives, it’s easy to forget a little self-care. In my opinion, these daily sanity breaks have been key to helping me maintain a healthy mind and body.

The term “psychosomatic” is a term used in psychology to refer to a cognitive theory which in short states: as the mind goes, so does the body. When the mind becomes frazzled and overly stressed, the body will begin to physically manifest these feelings as well. Headaches, body tension, jittery muscles, even stomach nausea can be the body’s way of saying you have reached your emotional limit. As a mild preventative, I’ve found that sanity breaks: allow time away, resulting in a clearer perspective on stressful situations, create space for the calming and re-centering of emotions, and provide opportunities to complete enjoyable tasks which always mean to get done, but are often postponed for things deemed “more important.” Coupled with brief meditations and deliberate deep breathing, sanity breaks have truly helped to keep me, well, SANE! .. LOL :]).

Generally, there is no one way to spend your personal / sanity break time. However, for it to work effectively, you must completely remove yourself (mentally and physically) from any and all stressors. That means no multitasking during lunch hours. No checking or replying to work emails. No wondering about that last item on your “to-do” list. No stressing about what bill to pay or what meal to fix your children for dinner. This self-imposed time-out is all about enjoying you. And no-nonsense about not having enough time to dance in a field of sunflowers for an entire afternoon. I took a quick 15 minutes to enjoy an overly complex Starbucks frappuccino (yes, I’m one of those!) while sitting on a park bench enjoying the breeze. It was glorious and in that little bit of time, I felt rejuvenated and ready to return to the real world to kick some butt! Don’t wait for a near breakdown or some vacation scheduled months out on a calendar to take some much needed selfish time. The relaxation you will feel afterward will be worth it : ])

When was your last “Sanity Break?” .. What sort of things do you enjoy ?


4 Responses to “Sanity Breaks”

  1. totalimagedesign January 8, 2012 at 2:37 am #

    I think we think alike, sanity breaks – meditation! We know what is good for us!. Great post and thank you for doing the work you do everyday in your choosen profession.

    • Angela January 9, 2012 at 12:30 am #

      Thank you for taking time to read and comment! ^_^. Child Life can most definitely be a challenging field, but kind words like yours keep me motivated. Much appreciated!

  2. teamrns February 2, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    Sanity breaks, sanity breaks. Reminds me of the time when I was teaching mind-body medicine classes and was trying to incorporate sanity breaks into my day. Well, it just so happens that at the time, I was nursing at a busy hospital and there was no ‘get away’ place. The nurses ‘break room’ was inundated with doctors; I had to find an escape room. The only place to be found, yes; the bath room! Meditate in the bathroom. Not a beautiful field, or park bench; but you an meditate anywhere!


  1. Sanity Breaks: Part 2 | Health and the Human Experience - December 2, 2013

    […] while ago I created a post about the importance of taking what I affectionately call “Sanity Breaks.” I went on to talk about how magically delicious they were and how important it was to fit […]

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