With so much stress related to working, and maybe even overworking, a lot of people often neglect taking downtimes for their brain. Sometimes even having 5 days of a 9 to 5 job can take a toll on your brain if you are neglecting its needs to relax. Think about it, every now and then, you’re at your desk in the afternoon, when an all-too-familiar feeling sets in: your eyes get heavy, you feel like you’re staring at a blank wall, and your head feels like you could do better with a nap.
You need some downtime.
In a survey conducted on white-collar employees in the US, China, South Africa, the UK, and Australia, it turns out that the average employee is spending more than half their day processing information. This number excludes the information on the job! When you think about that, that’s a lot of information in a day. Obviously, there is a breaking point for everyone, and to this, that’s why there are 20 days of paid leave here in the US.
Interestingly, out of those 20 days, in the US, the average employee only takes around 9, and even in those 9 are very tempted to still do work, while sitting on the beach, in their cottage in the Alps, or in the shady motel room in Bangkok.
We Americans seem to be so preoccupied with work that it’s filling up so much of our personal lives as well. What if the brain needs substantial downtime to recover and remain productive, to generate its new, creative, innovative ideas?
“Idleness is not simply a vacation, an indulgence, or a vice. In fact, it’s quite essential to the brain, and even comparable to vitamin D for the body. If we’re deprived of it, we suffer. The quietness and serenity that we get from a vacation provides a necessary aspect in life where we can stand back, see life as a whole, and return to work with great inspiration and without any inhibitions.”
The New York Times
Next time, if you’re pondering about not taking that day off from work just so that you can get a bonus at the end of the year, think about your mental health. Do you really think that working 5 days a week for 365 days will do you much good? I certainly think not. Every few months, take a day off. You’ll really be glad that you did, and your brain will thank you for it.