Written by: Sakura Koner
Edited by: Elizabeth Clarke
We live in a world of constant competition and hustle. A second off from work could result in great losses, both personal and professional. But in this din of workplace chaos and responsibilities, we often forget to take a moment to ourselves to unwind and relax before diving back into the exciting monotony of daily work.
As a graduate student in the faculty of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, I am an ardent follower of the hustle culture. Reading journal articles, designing experiments and practising animal work was all my day consisted of. It had been a year since I joined my Master’s program last year in the Fall of 2022, and it seemed irresponsible to take breaks. In my mind I had assigned myself the role of the one who must slave on for scientific success and not personal enjoyment.
However, a call from a friend and a sudden plan to escape into the Canadian Rockies saved me from life’s regular humdrum. As we walked on muddy, stone-strewn paths up and down the mountains to see emerald lakes and gushing waterfalls, I was reminded of the various aspects of life that make it worth living and enjoying. My heartbeat booming in my ear, I realised how important it is to take breaks–how important it is to walk in nature; to not worry about experimental results or research papers; basically whatever we might be working on. Those three days away in the midst of nature not only rejuvenated me, but also renewed my interest in the research I am involved in. It motivated me to work harder and to be better.
Despite the constant cacophony of work and chores, it is absolutely necessary to break away and come back refreshed every once in a while. Statistics show that people feel guilty about taking breaks, risking employee displeasure but simultaneously, there is growing evidence that taking breaks, even micro-breaks, can boost morale and productivity.
So, cheers to all those vacations we have planned, and cheers to living life–as it was meant to be lived.
j4p4n. (2023, May 20). Work life balance. openclipart. https://openclipart.org/detail/340362/work-life-balance
Baruffati, A. (2023, September 15). Surprising statistics on taking breaks at work 2023. GITNUX. https://blog.gitnux.com/statistics-on-taking-breaks-at-work/#:~:text=Taking%20Breaks%20At%20Work%3A%20The%20Most%20Important%20Statistics,-Nearly%2040%25%20of&text=43%25%20of%20employees%20say%20more,lunch%20break%20are%20less%20hardworking.