Taking a Break

When Frank and I were hiking the West Highland Way, a guidebook mentioned that it was easy to find villages along the route to buy lunch and snacks. Since we were hiking between 8 and 14 miles each day, finding a good spot to eat was key. On our first day of the hike, we did find a cute cafe right around lunchtime. We had packed our own snacks and made it to our B&B that night without any food emergencies. The second day of the hike, we took a detour to climb Conic Hill, which overlooked the loch we would be hiking around in the coming days.

Hiking up Conic Hill
Hiking up Conic Hill

After some snacks and a rest at the top, we descended into the village below. It was a bit after lunchtime and we discovered that no one had a quick lunch to go! I was getting very hungry, which is never good on a long hike. We managed to piece together a cheese, yogurt, and fruit lunch and continued on.

After that, we always ordered a lunch from our hotel or B&B. Every place we stayed offered to make a sack lunch and we took advantage of having food on hand. We also learned to take a break before we were hungry. If we ate about a half an hour before we actually needed to, our energy levels were much higher and we were able to complete the milage faster and in better shape.

I was thinking about taking breaks before they’re needed, especially as we near the end of tax season. As a family, during this busy time of year, taking well-timed breaks are what gives us the endurance to finish this long busy season still feeling slightly refreshed. Whether this is scheduling early dinner dates so we can get home before bedtime or shifting Bea’s screen time for the day to 5:00, the time when both of us need a break from interacting, figuring out how to time our rest and our breaks before they become a necessity has been essential.

How do you factor breaks into your day or into your seasons?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.

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8 thoughts on “Taking a Break

  1. What beautiful country to hike in! I enjoyed the adventure of learning to take a break before a break is needed. As to your question about how I factor in daily or seasonal breaks… As for the daily, I wake up early, before everyone else. to enjoy the quiet and nurture my soul. Seasonal… I don’t know that I intentional plan, except that I try to take a trip twice a year. I hike in the wilderness as much as I can on the weekends… Your words have helped me to understand the important of not waiting until I really need a break to take one, but to plan ahead… that is good wisdom – thank you!

    1. I definitely have trouble being intentional about seasonal breaks! (Even though I can often spot the signs of needing one…) There is something so refreshing about being out in nature – we try to get out as much as possible on the weekends and it’s such an important reset! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. It is so hugely important to take breaks before you lose it completely. Or at least have them planned. Work and home life have been really crazy at the same time the past few weeks and now I’m just holding on until Sunday when the kids get to go to my parents’ house for a week. That will be a nice break for all of us!

  3. Annie, I really love the idea of taking breaks before you neeeeeed one. And the scheduling breaks into a longer journey (physical or mental or emotional)? Brilliant. Those breaks do give endurance for the road ahead.

    I’m learning to not over commit myself. This makes it easier to take breaks and to keep my energy levels up.

    That trip you took sounds amazing. 😄

    1. I think overcommitment is the toughest thing for me to break… Thinking ahead to having 2 kiddos, I’m wondering what activities (that I love) will have to go, simply because of logistics. It’s been good for me to start thinking about…. And yes, I think Scotland was one of my favorite vacations!! 🙂

  4. It was easy to recognize when our kids were hungry or tired, when their little bodies were pushed beyond their limit. It’s taken me years to realize adults “poor” behavior is often a result of the same thing. Imagine that-we’re little people in big bodies! 😉 Good point Annie. Why do I think I can push myself just a little more……{sigh}

    1. It’s true – we think that just because we’re big means we can push through things. So often it’s not the case! We’re just better and holding off longer…

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