The Art of Taking a Break

Here at Inspired to Change we are pretty busy people! Running a successful hypnotherapy practice takes a lot of hard work on top of our hours seeing clients.  And we have to fit all of that into busy family lives too. So how do we ensure we are taking breaks so that we can stay at our best?

Of course, it’s different for everyone, our lives, and our practices are all different and so are our ways of taking breaks.  So to give you some inspiration on how you could take your breaks here is how we do it!

Animal loving Caroline is based in our Thrapston clinic in Northamptonshire“One thing I’ve learned is that having a holiday is fantastic – a great way to rest and restore yourself – but having little mini-breaks every single day is far more effective for me to build physical and mental resilience, and help keep my mind fresh and creative.  For me, my mini breaks are all about 2 legs or 4 legs!  I find taking a walk by the river really restorative. There is always something to see – I’ve regularly seen herons, coot, moorhen, red kites, and I’ve even caught a glimpse of a kingfisher!  There are usually people to stop and pass the time of day with, nothing beats a friendly face to lift the spirits!  Walking is great as it is also good for my body. But my other go to mini-break has no positive outcome at all other than just “being”. Anyone who has pets knows that spending time with them helps us feel good.  My cats are masters of “not doing anything” so spending 10 minutes having a cuddle or playing a game is a great way to learn from them how to switch off. I used to really struggle with the idea of “not doing anything”, of not having an outcome, but I’m getting better at it the more I see the positive results!  It’s a work in progress, a pattern of a life-time that I need to consciously work on changing but I’m getting there!”

Our Maidstone based therapist, Ali Hollands also loves a trip outside. A walk with her dogs is the perfect way to unwind and refresh, “Whenever I get the feeling that I’m wound a little bit tight, that I’m not making sense or I am feeling a bit out of sorts I know it means I’m overdue a break.  Whether that’s a few days off or just a change of scenery for the day – that slightly uncomfortable ‘fizzy’ feeling is invaluable and one I don’t ignore, because I know how important it is to take a break.

If I’m just taking a break for the day, my favourite way to relax is with a dog walk, especially near water.  I don’t care whether that’s on the beach when it’s raining, by the river in the evening or round a local lake on a Sunday morning – give me water and my dogs and I’m happy.  

There is something about being outside, slowing my brain down and just being in nature that, before too long, brings me back into balance.  My dogs are such great companions, because they are easy going and friendly, which means we often stop to say hello to people when we are out.  I find having a purpose to being out often helps with the motivation to go too!

When I’ve been out with my dogs, my mind becomes clearer, I often find solutions to problems I’ve yet to find an answer for, while I’m walking, and I always go back to work feeling refreshed and revitalised.

Who needs two weeks in the Caribbean, when you can have a day out with the dogs and the beach?!!”

For Carmen Wilson in our Market Harborough clinic its all about finding adventure! “The thought of a beach holiday and lying in the sun for a week or two has never appealed to me and I have always preferred to go on an adventure style or cultural holiday where you can learn something not only about where you are in the world, but also about yourself. 

Several times a year we go away just for a night to explore a part of England we haven’t seen and it’s surprising how many there are! Just having a short time away can help you feel like you’re making the most of your life and not just spending time sitting about.

On our summer break this year we made a point of doing a variety of things – we went to the cinema, we went fishing, walking and quad biking, something I’d never tried before and would love to do loads more. There’s definitely something about being away from modern life and just absorbing the countryside that’s really energising and relaxing at the same time.  It sounds silly, but I always try to find something I’ve never seen before, even if I have to take a photo and go home and investigate because it helps be in the moment and really appreciate where you are and what you’re doing. Being a hypnotherapist has really made me see the value of these smaller things.”

As Senior Lecturer at the Clifton Practice of Hypnotherapy Training it is no surprise that there is some brain science behind how our Peterborough therapist Gary Johannes takes his breaks!  “For years I had been misled that being any less than ‘industrious’ in my day just wasn’t working hard enough: “work hard now and reap the rewards later”.  The problem was I always felt too tired to reap anything. For me to become more effective, stay focused and feel energized at the end of the day something needed to change.  Through learning about and then later lecturing on solution focused hypnotherapy, I discovered the ‘Ultradian rhythm’.  The human body is hard-wired to this rhythm and so, to be at our best, we need to understand how it works and then learn to apply it in our life. There is a lot of neuroscience behind it, but the simple rule is: to renew our energy every 90-minutes.  Not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.  To renew our energy, we need to take 20-minute breaks and these breaks need to be inconsequential (problem free), like taking a walk, chatting to a friend or reading something light-hearted.

So I endeavor to break my days down into 90-minute (or less) chunks, with a good 20-minute break between each one, rather than keeping on going with a task. My energy is higher and as a result, I am much more productive. My favorite break out time is nipping to the local café for a chat with a colleague. (to read more about the Ultradian Rhythm read Gary’s full blog here…)

 For Claire Noyelle, based in Maidstone East it’s all about being active! “When I think about the things I do that make me happy, recharge my batteries and make me feel on top form, the common theme that runs between them all is that they’re all ‘active’ in some way. I always feel good after doing something physical, whether it’s my aerial hoop class, a workout at the gym, an evening at salsa club or just walking my dog, Rosie, round the local park. All of these things give me chance to do something just for me, away from things I might feel obliged to do, like the boring bits of life such as housework & shopping. I don’t have to exercise for very long – it may only be a quick blast at the gym, but I know that no matter what my mood is before, I will always feel better after. Of course, there are days when a full workout seems too much effort, when I could tell myself “I’m tired”, or I don’t have time to spend all evening dancing, but on those days even 20-30 minutes spent outside with the dog will boost my mood and make me look at the day more positively, so it’s worth the effort. And of course, Rosie’s big brown eyes are hard to resist, she’s always grateful for the extra time! In my hypnotherapy sessions with clients we talk a lot about being positive – in our thoughts, our interactions with others as well as our actions and for me, moving my body into doing something physical ticks all of these”

But taking a break isn’t always easy as Emma Treby in our Devon clinic explains, “Going on holiday with a spirited child is far more about managing expectations and appreciating every small success than it is about enjoying some down time. Being realistic, typical ‘relaxation’ is an unlikely outcome, so moments of calm and mindfulness are key. Every improvement from last year is a step forward. Every moment where James doesn’t react is a success. Being able to avoid sensory overload and the resultant meltdown needs to be celebrated. Taking those moments of calm for yourself are essential to recharge batteries and to realise that you are doing ok. This could be 5 minutes to paint your nails or 15 minutes floating in the pool. For me, the sunshine and a familiar holiday destination with fond childhood memories of my own helps this process but being someone that likes things to be perfect I have to work harder at managing those expectations in order to get that much needed change from the usual routine at home”.

Everyone’s lives are different, what we enjoy is different, but we all need to find time in our lives to take a break.

If you would like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you find a better balance in life maybe it’s time to book your FREE initial consultation with your local Inspired to Change hypnotherapist. Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are based across the UK in Peterborough, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Devon and Kent.

Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.

To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information