Have you ever wondered why we crave the downtime a weekend away affords us? Consider the fact that our brains actually need leisure and fun to function. Just as exercise releases endorphins, so does laughter. Positivity and pleasurable activities give the brain a chance to “cool-down” from the high-pressure demands of work and everyday responsibilities. Stress-relief isn’t just a release; it is necessary for us to continue to function at our very best. It is crucial to give your brain and body a break, so take leisure time seriously.

There’s an old adage that says “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It’s so true, and it’s important to weave lots of fun into your daily schedule.
The following are some ways to break through our common thinking about work and create some peaceful counterbalance:

1. Scheduling time with friends to blow off steam and share a laugh is a great way to give your left-brain a break and let your right-brain take the reins for a while.

2. Although our competitive working world forces us to work relentlessly, this is only effective if it is balanced by times of tranquility and stability. We must find ways to release tension through: art, yoga, exercise, reading for leisure, or playing with our children.

3. Discover ways to play at work without disrupting productivity. Try setting up a scheduled play time for your team. Toss ideas back and forth as you toss a ball to each one around a conference table. Think of ways the team can bring a smile to the face of your customers. Make your goal fun – one team got to shave their boss’ head if they reached their quota. You can transform your corporate culture if you invent ways for everyone to play at work. Productivity will be on the rise.

4. Getting “stuck” on an idea or strategy is a great invitation to take a break. The brain processes information even when we are not actively engaging it. Doing something deliberately relaxing or enriching, like taking a bath or watching a movie will actually improve your chances of moving forward with a project.

5. Countless studies have proven that relationships are absolutely vital to our well-being and success. Taking time to cultivate them is not only a welcome break, but necessary to sustain us.

Google is a company that understands why a fabulous environment, plenty of perks and time to just play are important to success. They love their co-workers and feel happy and energized to work there. They can bring their pets to work – more chance to play and bring spontaneous joy to co-workers. They can play with their babies during the work day because there is on-site daycare. Google gets it.

Although it might seem counter-intuitive to take a minute for ourselves and embrace downtime, it is actually an important investment. There is a reason that a leisurely stroll through the woods, or a night out at a comedy club feels good, and that is because it is good for you. So let this be your permission to never feel guilty for taking some time for yourself again!

Author's Bio: 

With over 20 years of experience gained across television, radio and print, Maria Khalifé brings to her clients knowledge and understanding in holistic and motivational living. Maria brings to the world powerful life-changing experiences for those who seek extraordinary lives and want to reach their maximum potential. Maria can help you to uncover your true dynamic self. Please visit http://www.MariaKhalife.com