Take a Break

Stepping away from the details of work can give you a new perspective.
Yesterday, that moment of joy was watching the eclipse with family. My husband and I are lucky enough that he has family in southern Illinois, an area that experienced totality. Just the event itself inspired and awed me. Experiencing it with several generations made it even more special. We ate moon pies and sun chips. We had our official glasses, but made pinhole cameras from a shoebox and sheets of paper (used separately). We also expanded the light show with a colander and a mirror (also used separately).

The key is letting yourself experience the moment. We celebrated with selfies, but we also took a breath and just looked. We watched the crescent shrink and disappear. We watched the light dim, the sunset surround us, and the planets come out. And, we watched the crescent grow again. The eclipse flew by, but we took the time to experience it.

Your moments of joy don’t have to be as historical as an eclipse, especially since the next one isn’t until 2024. Your moment of joy can be family, friends, music, and motion.

Taking a break from the day to day activities can give you a new perspective.
For both mental and physical health, you should take breaks from sitting at the computer.

  • A walk around the office or the block
  • Stretches will loosen the neck and the back
  • Music to stimulate the body and mind (see below)
  • Coffee or water cooler break to discuss a project, challenge, or that week’s GOT or WD

A couple of minutes away puts the task in perspective and helps you think about what you do in a new way. Try different options out to see what works for you. But be careful. Moments of joy are different from pleasure. The candy bar is pleasurable, but fleeting. And, the pleasure may diminish. I’ll discuss the difference between joy and pleasure in a future career blog post.

Building flow or joyful add-ons into your day will energize you.
Utilizing your strengths and getting caught up in what you are doing is being in “flow.” If you’ve ever gotten so immersed into a task, you were probably utilizing a strength. The more you utilize this and other strengths, the more successful and productive you will be. I will cover Flow in more detail in a future career blog post. If you can’t wait to learn a little more about strengths, check out Gallup’s Strengths Based Leadership ($).

Because today’s post is about building joy in your life, I’ll talk about joyful add-ons. I get energized when I listen to the music of my youth. (I’m not that old, but when I start talking dates, I feel like it.) 80’s alternative will take me back to college, a little Neil Diamond will take me back to family trips, and some good 70’s rock will bring an old radio in my childhood bedroom to mind. This doesn’t get me sentimental. I get energized. I may sing. I may dance a little.

When I must do a task and my energy is waning, I’ll turn on music. Suddenly, doing the dishes, cleaning or powering through a research report get a little easier. I feel more joy than dread at the task. I have the energy to get it done.

Build moments of joy in your life

(Blog posted to Bartimus Career Consulting Blog and Hayska Blog.)

(Feature Image Note: Thank you to Canva.com for offering a free eclipse photo (above) since my attempts (below) did not come out clear. ​)

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