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Stop Feeling Guilty About Taking That Break. You Need It Stay Creative And Healthy!

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The human brain just wasn’t built for extended focus and it’s normal to stray away from schedules and recuperate in silence.

 “Deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused,” says professor Alejandro Lleras of the University of Illinois

There’s just no way you can’t even take even 15 minutes to relax.  “I don’t have time” is maybe the biggest lie we can tell ourselves. Especially when there’s so much going out in the world, in hard times like even existing is a task of accomplishment.

Breaks And Thinking Patterns

When you’re focusing, you’re hindering your path to the diffuse mode.

Diffuse thinking allows our brain to make bigger-picture connections involving your new skills so they become second nature and we can use them in our everyday routine.

Timely breaks allow us to take a step back and make sure we’re accomplishing the right things in the right way. Often we’re told we should always be hustling, always promoting but taking a break to counter the blues and restore creative energies is also important.

working from home: Average Indian saving almost two hours of commute time while working from home: Survey - The Economic Times
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Exterminating The Guilt Correlated With ‘Breaks’

The human brain is expected to make more mistakes and often take actions that are less efficient if not backed by regular breaks.

It’s natural to feel guilty while taking a break when you’ve half-baked a task, but going out with partial brain power would cause ourselves to settle with a mediocre product and might narrow our creativity by a substantial degree.

Resort to anything that gives your brain a chance to decompress, without being sinful about it.

That metascreen within the movie screen is telling us more than we realise
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If you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again”

Taking a break may get inferior notoriety in hustle culture, but it’s an indispensable, science-oriented way to ensure you can live your life the way you want to live it. Recent research shows a shorter burst of work followed by a longer pause from work might be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

Go Out, Spend Some Time In Nature!

When it comes to enhancing a person’s overall mental well being, there’s no better remedy than nature.

You don’t necessarily need to plan a vacation to the mountains to unwind your spirits. Even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

No Screen Time During Your Breaks

Don’t use social media during your break!

According to The Harvard Business Review reports, Social media can also hurt your ability to focus and learn. Continuous exposure to social media use induces stress. Our brain gets hooked on the instant gratification of seeing the next Instagram picture and then the chain goes on and on.

Get out of your furniture/desk and walk. Call a friend or relative. Vent out, refuel yourselves.

Work from Home Jobs: Want to work from home? Here are eight options for you
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Dodging Breaks Is Not Cool

As per the recent research from the University of Southern California:

“Our brain uses the downtime to make important connections that shape our identity and social behaviour – things like recalling personal memories, imagining the future, and developing a code of ethics.”

Not taking breaks comes with other adverse effects:

  • Emotional, Mental and Physical Exhaustion
  • Creative Blocks
  • Headaches
  • Trouble in Focusing
  • Damaged eyes
  • Degrading Health

Goal Habituation

When you work for too long without taking a break, you might lose track of what you’re actually trying to do.

Breaks And Chronobiology

Our focus, energy, and motivation moves in “waves.”  

The hack is to understand the movement and acknowledging our body patterns and act accordingly, giving ourselves those little “pauses” now and then can increase our efficiency drastically.

It’s important to understand our ebb and flow of high and low energy. Tweaking this natural phenomenon and using it to your best can provide you desired results.  Exhausting yourself is harmful to your creativity. Be happy that you’re alive and breathing, every breath is a gift, don’t forget.

Taking a break is productive, not for your work but for your well being, we are humans, after all. Breathe.


  • The Science of Taking Breaks at Work: How to Be More Productive By Changing the Way You Think About Downtime, Courtney Seiter, Buffer
  •   The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again, Aytekin Tank, Lifehack
  • The Art Of Rest — Why I’m Taking A (Short) Break, James Prescott
  • Why You Need to Take More Breaks (And How to Do It), Social Triggers
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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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