Dr Paula Smith - Presentation Skills Expert

Speak Out to Play a Bigger Game

A little bit of science about the benefits of taking a break (even a short one)  

July 2, 2024 | Paula Smith

Retreat for women

Taking a break, even a short one, can refresh your brain, increase your energy levels, make you happier and increase you ability to focus lifting that brain fog so many people experience.  Social and peer interactions are also proving invaluable in reducing stress and burnout and re-setting mood. 

A review of 80-plus studies concludes you should take more breaks

The cost of being always-on (and doing it well!) is high. More than half of employees (59%) report feeling burnout at some stage according to a recent survey from Aflac and the overwhelming majority (86%) of employees who did report high levels of burnout also have suffered other mental health challenges in the past year — most commonly anxiety, depression and trouble sleeping. 

A break can bring numerous benefits to you, your family and the business/organisation, including:

  • Decreased stress
  • Higher engagement
  • Better focus
  • Better performance and productivity
  • Overall happiness and contentment
  • Higher motivation
  • Healthier relationships

I meet too many clients and workshop attendees that share challenges of their heavy workloads, trying to keep up with change, managing home and work along with a myriad of other issues not conducive to a healthy work and home life.

I too get caught up in my work  and often forget to take some well needed breaks so I can perform at my optimal level and enjoy my relationships at a deeper level. 

So, I went on a search for a professional women’s retreat, one that wasn’t the ‘find yourself and unpack your trauma’ type (just not my cup of tea), and I struggled to find one. So, after much frustration, I decided to create one. And based on research from my clients, a programme full of social interaction, professional development and a little bit of fun, which incidentally is also critical for reducing stress,  was what was needed. 
So here it is.   


The Real Retreat is a 3 day retreat for professional women who would like to get away from the hustle and bustle of life with an intimate group of likeminded women to connect, have fun, drink wine, enjoy some beautiful food, enjoy some professional development and enjoy a little bit of luxury. 
We will staying at the beautiful Yungarra Estate just outside of Dunsborough.

However, you don’t always need to go on a retreat to take a break. Here are some other suggestions to take a break without leaving work or home.

Mindfulness and Meditation: Spend a few minutes meditating or practicing mindfulness. This can help clear your mind and reduce stress.

Exercise: Engage in some light physical activity like stretching, yoga, or a short walk around your home or office.

Read a Book or Listen to Music: Immerse yourself in a good book or listen to your favorite music to relax.

Creative Activities: Try drawing, painting, colouring in, dancing or any other creative activity that you enjoy.

Disconnect: Take a digital detox by turning off your phone, computer, and other devices for a while.

Power Nap: A short nap can help recharge your energy levels and improve focus.

Breathe Fresh Air: Step outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air and change your environment.

Chat with a Friend: Call or video chat with a friend or family member for a quick catch-up.

Gardening: If you have a garden or some plants, spend some time tending to them.

Practice a Hobby: Engage in a hobby you enjoy, such as cooking, knitting, or playing a musical instrument.

Declutter: Spend a few minutes organizing or decluttering a small area of your home or workspace. This can create a sense of accomplishment and reduce stress.

Sometimes we really do need to switch off to switch on again.

Keynote Speaker CSP, Master Trainer, Author and Business Leadership Coach
Paula has been helping experts, entrepreneurs, leaders and teams to harness the power of speaking, leadership and effective communication for the past 30 years. 

Work with Paula to gain that edge.

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