There is a fine line between needing a break and breaking down. There are a few signs that all professionals need to know before they cross this line.
Pay attention to the following to determine if you need to take a break.
Down-swing in attitude
Do you find yourself complaining more often? Are you overly annoyed at pesky issues? Are you speaking less to colleagues and smiling less at work?
These are all signs that your attitude is declining and you need to take a break.
Loss of motivation
A drop in the drive to do your best, to please others, and to make the most out of each day is a very clear sign that you need a break. If you hear yourself saying “I just don’t feel like doing work today,” then you have lost motivation.
Sometimes a reduction in motivation is disguised as fatigue. You just don’t have the energy to deal with everything. You are tired and are constantly reducing your list of priorities. Sick or not, you need to take a break.
Reduced tolerance of others
Are your coworkers and bosses bothering you more than usual? Are you dreading interaction with people at work? Withdrawing from social interaction is a clear sign that you need a break.
Numbness to the purpose
If work feels meaningless and you feel like you are just another cog in a pointless machine…then it is time to take a break and evaluate. Successful professionals have a purpose. Take the time you need to make the necessary changes to find your purpose.
Noticing even one of these signs is a strong indicator that you need to take a break.
You may just need a vacation so that you stop thinking about work. You may need to shift your focus to other parts of your life. You may need to evaluate your career plan and question your position, duties, or even your job.
Do not wait until you are at a breaking point. Pick up on the signs and act.
To learn more about planning purpose into your career, check out the online, self-study career planning course (worth 5 CPEUs).
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About the Author
Devon L. Golem, PhD, RD is the founder of the Institute of Continuing Education for Nutrition Professionals. She has spent over a decade providing education and career guidance to nutrition students, interns, and professionals.