Teacher’s Diary

No, don’t give up your break-time for any goodies offered to you. As a matter of fact, you need to impose brief breaks upon yourself after every hour or so of intense absorption and concentration on a task. A preferable observation of your break time would be:
leaving your work table or station; changing your environment; going to another area and switching off executive functions like: problem solving; planning; decision-making; calculating and executing. You constantly engage the frontal lobe region of your brain, many times to breaking point, at work. This area is the seat of your: cognitive functions; concentration; interest; motivation; emotions; language (speaking and writing) and your personality.

Your frontal lobe also controls your social behaviours and responses. Little wonder then that a tired, fatigued brain is more prone to engendering impulsive and irrational behaviours. Don’t wait until you’re stumped by a problem or stooped over a decision before you intentionally take a break daily at work. Once you have established your job rules and you have negotiated the statutory time allocated to you for break at work, you must consciously use this allocated times to refuel so that you don’t burn out. The following are 15 benefits of regularly taking your break at work:

•Breaks maintain your mental well-being at the least.
•Regularly taking your break actually improves your mental health. •Breaks boost as well as increase your creativity.
•Break taking is a healthy habit that contributes to the achievement of a healthy life style. •Break taking is a stress buster!
•Certain break time activities like walking or deep-breathing can directly reduce your stress levels.
•Taking breaks reduces your chances of experiencing exhaustion.

•Breaks help you stay alert so that you can demonstrate maximum mental acuity during the day •Taking breaks refreshes your mind enabling you to display the virtues of emotional intelligence in the face of daily challenges.

•Breaks help you to rebound mentally so that you become prone to having more valuable ‘aha moments’ than other people.
•Taking breaks improves your calmness making you a more approachable member of staff.

•Break taking replenishes your mental resources so that you are a more talented team member or leader.
•Taking your break regularly leaves you more motivated and inspired to continue in a task.

•You are likely to appraise your performance with clarity and relaunch your work with zest after having had a break.
•Taking your breaks helps to keep your goals in focus. A common Yoruba saying holds that the life of a job is lengthier than the number of years you’d ever live for. Lengthening your life is very much your responsibility in as much as you take extra care to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Break taking contributes to a healthy lifestyle.

Omoru writes from the Uk