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As a work at home mom, you need a good work-life balance. Could taking five-minute breaks throughout the day help with that?
Every hour, I will take at least a five-minute break. This break involves getting up from my desk to step away from my work. It’s something I’ve been doing for the last 18 months consistently, and I tried to do it before then.
18 months ago, I found out my husband was having an affair. He very quickly became an ex, and I started to improve my life. As I look back, it turned out he was being emotionally and mentally abusive to me during our marriage but I just didn’t see it while in it. Now I can, and it was because of him that I couldn’t get a real routine down when it came to being a work at home mom.
Now he’s gone, I have a good work-life balance, something that my children see and have noted. Some of that comes down to taking five-minute breaks throughout the day. Here’s how I think they help.
I get a chance to support my brain
The brain can’t work non-stop throughout the day. It’s not a computer, although it often seems like it when you consider how much the brain can handle at once. We are not robots, and we need to look after ourselves. The best thing to do is take breaks.
Every hour, I will step away from the computer for at least five minutes. Some of the breaks are longer for dog walks, lunch, and other needs, but the smaller breaks are just five minutes.
I will stretch my body and get the blood flowing again. Blood flowing to the brain is great!
I’ll look out of the window just to get something other than the computer screen, and I’ll put on a song or something to help take my mind off work. It’s all to give my brain the break that it needs from processing work. The more you do these five-minute breaks, the better the brain gets at working productively when you need it, knowing that a break is coming.
My body gets a chance to stretch out
When I used to sit at the desk all the time, I would get up with back ache, neck pain, and headaches. That isn’t as often now, and it’s improving my work-life balance. When the kids get home from school, I can now get straight into mom mode instead of wishing that my back didn’t hurt so much or needing to shut out all light for the latest migraine.
Taking the five-minute breaks certainly help with this. On some of the five-miunute breaks, I’ll do some simple stretches. They help to ease out my shoulders and back, meaning the muscles aren’t as cramped up. I can also reduce headaches because my eyes aren’t focused on the screen as much. Eye strain is awful for the head.
On the longer breaks, I’ll get out for walks. This is also good to stretch every muscle of my body, meaning there isn’t as much pain later on in the day or at the weekend.
More productive work day for a work-life balance
There is a common misconception that taking breaks means you’re not being productive. This is a misconception that comes from the capitalist society that we live in. As a work at home mom, you need to get out of that mindset. Of course, you want the business mindset to build your own business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks.
Since taking the five-minute breaks each hour, I’ve become more productive. I’ve already mentioned how my brain gets a break from working, meaning that it’s more productive when it is working.
How often have you sat at the computer and found yourself f doom scrolling on Facebook or Instagram? How often have you wasted an hour watching TikTok videos? It’s easy to do. Your brain needs a break, and instead of working, it will encourage you to procrastinate.
When you take the breaks, your brain is trained into knowing that another break is coming. There is going to be time to watch a TikTok or two in less than an hour. It’s more likely to encourage you to work on the project for as long as you can, meaning you’ll get more work done during the day even with the breaks.
There’s no need to work late because you procrastinated for an hour. You get the time with the kids in the evening.
Just as an example from last week, I planned to work 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. I didn’t have the kids, so I could work though. I took my usual breaks and I was done by 4 p.m. I got a little bit of extra work done but I wrapped up at 5 p.m., an hour earlier than planned. That was with my breaks throughout the day. It’s how much more productive I am with them.
MORE: How a work-life balance helps you sleep better
What do you struggle with when it comes to getting a work-life balance? What do you need support with as a work at home mom? Share in the comments below.
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