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Circuit Breakers: Why We Need Them

by | Jul 4, 2021

Sometimes simple solutions exist, but those solutions can be challenging to keep in mind and implement in the appropriate moments. We can demystify the solutions with practical plans.
 
You know what helps us, though its value is often overlooked? Having a break. Taking a moment to intentionally push away from the proverbial desk, creating the space to find our emotional and mental footing.
 
It’s far too easy to become consumed with the task at hand, followed by the next, followed by the next. It’s far too common to carry the tension, the stress, the feelings of anxiety, and the cortisol (the #1 hormone of stress) all day long. This chronic stress can impact our mental and physical health.
 
What if there’s a better way than being tense all day? What if we could learn to take a break?
 
What if we could make some simple plans and try out some new practices?
 
Taking a break might not always seem feasible, especially if we think in terms of grandeur or ideals. Many people work long hours, parent, care for loved ones, or have a host of other responsibilities. We can’t always take an hour break or do the big things that relax us—like a massage, a pedicure, or going for a vacation. What we can practically do, though, is take some baby steps in the form of quick and efficient circuit breakers. These circuit breakers can take many forms and can be adapted to meet our specific capabilities and needs. These small solutions might not feel luxurious like a massage or a beach trip, but they certainly pack a significant impact.
 
Maybe you could turn on your favorite happy song and dance until it ends.
 
Maybe you could move away from your desk, close your eyes, and just breathe with no distractions for a few minutes.
 
Maybe you could create a space that allows for a change of pace within your work environment. For example, sensory fidget tubes or Zen boxes can provide a physical break from mental toil.
 
Try starting the day with a practical plan for quick, effective circuit breakers. Set a reminder on your phone, watch, or computer. Have a plan of action—or rather a plan to step away from the action.
 
Practice small and quick routines that break up the monotony, relieve the tension, and refresh your mind.
 
Try it out and let us know how this works for you!
 
Contributed by Merrell Miles, Intern

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