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8 signs its time to take a break

I've spent a lot of time this year encouraging you to take a break, but how do you know when you need one? Here are some key signs its time for a break that you need to be paying attention to!





  1. You're Tired: I know, I shouldn't even need to state this "out loud" BUT I meet many people who are pushing themselves too far. Persistent fatigue is a common indicator that your body needs rest. This can show up as physical tiredness, mental exhaustion, or both.

  2. You feel like you can't get things done: You're chugging coffee but you just can't seem to get the work juices flowing. Here's what research says, when you're tired or overworked, your performance will decline significantly across various tasks, including cognitive tasks and physical activities.

  3. You feel clumsy or hurt yourself: Research suggests that pushing your body beyond its limits increases the risk of injury. Overtraining syndrome, common among athletes, is characterized by persistent fatigue, decreased performance, and increased susceptibility to injury. Could it be possible that you are "overtraining" at work or in your personal life?

  4. Your mood is....not good: Anger, irritability, and feeling anxious are all common players in burnout, depression and more. Pay attention to changes in your mood as they may indicate the need for rest.

  5. You're getting sick: Did you know that lack of rest can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses? If you find yourself getting sick frequently, it may be a sign that your body needs more rest.

  6. Not sleeping well: Overwork and stress can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or poor-quality sleep. How well are you sleeping?

  7. Muscle Soreness and Tension: Physical symptoms such as muscle soreness, tension, and stiffness can indicate that your body needs time to recover. Ignoring these signs may lead to chronic pain or injury.

  8. Decreased Concentration and Focus: Research suggests that fatigue and burnout can impair cognitive function, leading to decreased concentration, memory problems, and difficulty making decisions. If you find it hard to focus, this is likely a sign that you need to make time to rest.


Listening to your body and recognizing these signs is the FIRST STEP toward making changes.


If we aren't paying attention, or we let the signs go on for too long, we risk burnout, or other, more significant mental health challenges.




Like this content and want more burnout prevention tools for yourself?

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Hi, I'm Alison and welcome to the blog.


I have been a speaker and trainer for 20 years. I offer Mental Health First Aid in Canada and work with workplaces to improve mental wellbeing and psychological safety and reduce stress and burnout.


Join my free weekly email list Resilient for tools & resources to reduce stress, overwhelm & burnout , delivered to your inbox.


Be sure to connect with me on IG @alisonbutlernl or on LinkedIn.

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