Give Yourself A Break: Incorporating Leisurely Mornings For Personal Wellness Boasts Great Benefits

13 min read DEC 19, 2023

From the time you awake each morning until you rest your head in the evening hours, if you’re like most Americans, you rarely have a moment of rest.

In fact, in today’s day and time, leisure has become a foreign word and concept.


Simply put, because our lives are busy, and we seem to be getting busier all the time.

Between work responsibilities, household duties, family needs, personal needs, and more, most of us are stretched thin. And, when you’re running from one task to the next, the last thing you think you can squeeze into your already-hectic schedule is a few hours to relax, refresh, and reset.

But, when we think of leisure time in that way, we’re actually only adding to the stress of our busy lives.

The truth of the matter is, taking a break, setting aside some time to slow down and enjoy a few hours alone or with family, won’t hinder your hectic schedule.

Instead, a morning of leisure now and then could do just the opposite - making you more productive when you return to your routine tasks and responsibilities, even improving your health in the process!

So, let’s take some time to consider why you should incorporate a few hours of leisure into your schedule, what a leisurely morning “off” actually looks like, and how such an intentional break can positively impact your life and your health.

Do You Really Need A Break?

Sometimes it’s easy to recognize when we’re “burning the candle at both ends.” Other times we metaphorically wake up one day to realize we’ve simply been operating on autopilot.

The thing is, when you fail to take regular breaks - time to slow down, reset, and refresh - your work responsibilities, family life, health, and more will suffer.

  • Conflict increases in relationships when you don’t take much-needed breaks.


  • Normal stress turns into chronic stress, wreaking havoc on your health.


  • You may experience sleep disturbances when you fail to take regular breaks.


  • Weight gain is common amongst people who pass on a needed few hours of relaxation amidst a busy schedule.


  • Heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke are all common outcomes of a failure to manage stress through taking time to refresh and reset.


  • Even your brain suffers from pushing through amidst high levels of stress and busyness, resulting in problems with both memory and the ability to focus.

So then, how do you know if your hectic-schedule is negatively affecting your health, productivity, and relationships?

Well, like most hindrances, there are some warning signs that become evident when you’re in great need of a little leisure-time in your life.

If you’re experiencing any of the following, you’re likely in need of a slow morning or some time to truly refresh:

  • Poor attitude regarding your job/work/duties
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor eating habits
  • Easily frustrated
  • Low energy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Poor mood or mood swings
  • Performance problems surrounding work tasks
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Frequent illness
  • Headaches
  • Stomach distress
  • Lack of focus
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, or other loved ones
  • Withdrawal from activities that once brought you joy
  • Using drugs/alcohol to cope with stress

Each of these signs, especially when noticed in multiples, indicate one thing - you must take some time for yourself!

Now, as rushed as most of our lives are, it’s not uncommon for us to operate in “need a break” mode on a regular basis and not even realize it.

Recently, this is where I found myself, and it looked a little something like this:

I work from home, so I commonly don’t think that my life is all that busy or stressful. Yet, one late afternoon I was on my way to run a few errands, and I found myself in tears.

That morning I just did not want to get out of bed. I’d barely slept the night before, but I pushed through, showered, and got ready for the day.

I normally walk or run each morning, but I’d skipped it the last several days, just not feeling it.

Then, I worked for about 5 hours before leaving the house for an afternoon of endless tasks - I took my daughter to an appointment, got groceries, grabbed a fast food very-late lunch, went to the post office, picked up supplies for a project, dropped off items for donation, dried my tears from the car-cry-session, picked my daughter up from her appointment, came home and unloaded the groceries, made dinner, cleaned up dinner, finished folding laundry, cleaned my bathroom, made my bed as I’d washed the linens that day, graded my son’s paper (we homeschool) which I had to read and re-read a number of times for lack of understanding, and when my son asked if I wanted to watch a movie that evening, I had to take a moment alone in the bathroom (in tears again) before I could cheerfully reply with a “yes, I’d love to.”

I know, that’s a long run-down there, but I’m suspecting many of you can relate, with your own schedule, list, or moments of overwhelm.

Now, can you recognize any of the “hey, you really need a break” signs in that list, or the list you’re likely thinking of from your own busy life?

  • Low mood, mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Withdrawal from activities that normally bring joy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low energy
  • Poor eating habits
  • Lack of motivation

…and that’s just one day.

You get it, right? We all need to consider, even intentionally schedule, some time to slow down and take a morning off now and then.

But, if you’re like me, you’re in go-mode so often, you wouldn’t even know where to begin when it comes to rest and relaxation.

Well, that’s what we’re here for today. And, now that we see the need for such a break, let’s explore what a leisurely, relaxing morning entails.

What A Leisurely Morning Looks Like

I’ll be the first person to say I don’t need instructions for how to take a break, yet here I am in need of one.

And, if you’re reading this article, I’m guessing you’re in need of one too.

So, first, let’s tackle the practicality of this…

If you have small children you’re responsible for, perhaps taking such a break will need some planning, so seek to talk to a babysitter or a spouse who can take on your typical duties for a few hours.

If needed, make arrangements at work, letting your boss know you’ll be taking a block of time for personal wellness.

And, if possible or desired, involve your family in this break where you can spend some quality time together, focused on being present and in the moment.

While you can certainly take a break to refresh at any time, for our purposes here today we’re going to focus on doing this in the morning.

In fact, let’s call this our leisurely morning list, and here we’ll compile a variety of ideas or ways you can intentionally set aside your normal rushed morning routine for the purpose of a relaxing, refreshing few hours of peace.

1- Intentionality

First, let’s begin this leisurely morning with purpose.

I’m not talking about adding to your to-do list tasks by creating a plan or anything, but what is monumentally important here is mindset.

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to turn off our work brain and our constant to-do lists. But, in order to benefit from this leisurely morning, which will hopefully become a regular occurrence, you must detach from the stresses and cares which overwhelm you.

So, don’t just take a morning off, but intentionally allow your mind to shift from busyness to peace, from rush to relaxation, from stress to a slow purposeful, in the moment, mindset of wellness.

2- Stretching And Deep Breathing

As you awake, one way to foster a sense of peace and calm, forgoing the tendency to rush, rush, rush, is to practice a few deep breathing exercises as well as a bit of stretching.

So, as you slowly leave the comforts of your morning bed, stand tall, stretching your arms high above you, breathing in deeply as you raise them.

Then, breathe out slowly as you roll down, bending at the waist, lowering your arms/hands as you bend.

Now, inhale once again, slowly and deeply as you roll your body upward, lifting your head as you return to a standing position.

Repeat this process a few times before you even leave your bedroom.

3- Set Technology Aside

Much of our lives revolve around smartphones, tablets, computers, smart watches, etc.

And, while these items certainly have benefits, even providing conveniences and pleasure, please set them aside for now.

If you’re checking your phone, you can’t clear your mind of other obligations.

If you’re scrolling through social media, you can’t be in the moment.

If you’re counting steps, you negate the purpose here, the need to simply slow down and take a break from tracking, checking, working, and constantly “doing.”

4- Go For A Walk

If you typically exercise in the mornings before you tackle your daily tasks, make this morning special by switching it up and simply go for a leisurely walk instead.

If walking is already how you get in a bit of exercise, walk with a mindset of intentionality today.

Whether you’re simply walking around the block, through your neighborhood, or on a trail at your local park, spend this time (alone or with your family) enjoying each sight you see, each scent you smell, and each sound you hear.

The point here is to be present, in the moment.

Quiet all the thoughts of work, stress, and duty, and instead of powering through a walk while you focus on what you’ll be doing next, simply enjoy this time.

Each step, the sound of the earth beneath your feet, the rustle of leaves nearby, the scent of fresh air, the warmth of the sun (or chill of a breeze) on your skin…let these organic things occupy your focus, fostering pure, unadulterated rest and relaxation.

5- Coffee And Breakfast

Once you’ve had a glass of water or two, use some time to prepare a special breakfast, something that you normally skip over due to a busy schedule.

And, take a moment to be thankful, enjoying this time as you savor a meal, whether alone or with your family.

As far as coffee…don’t rush this either.

You likely enjoy a cup of coffee or two each morning already. But, I’m guessing those sips are commonly rushed as you get ready for your day.

Coffee is one of the simple, joyous pleasures in life.

So, take a few moments to pour yourself a cup in your favorite mug, even try a new recipe if you’d like to spice up your brew in a way you typically don’t allow time for, and sit down.

Sit down and quietly enjoy each sip, something many of us don’t or can’t take the time to do when we’re rushing out the door or barrelling through our to-do list.

The above list is simply a start, some ideas to prepare your mind for a set time to truly stop, to slow down and take some intentional time for personal or family wellness so that you can return to your day-to-day obligations feeling refreshed.

Some other ideas for how you can spend a leisurely morning include the following:

- Schedule a class to take that’s just for you, something pertaining to your interests alone. Maybe you can take a pottery class once a week, line dancing, vocal lessons, yoga, etc. You can also do this as a family.

- If you enjoy yard work, gardening, or cooking, spend this time preparing a new recipe, planting a new plant (indoor or outdoor), etc.

- Sleep in, if you’re able. Sometimes a morning of rest can do more to reset and refresh your mind and body than anything else. Just omit the step of setting an alarm the night before, and sleep a few extra, and likely needed, hours.

- Watch a movie or read a book. Personally, I know I’ve often skipped sleep to stay up late and watch a movie I’ve been wanting to see or read a book on my want-list. Usually I do this because I can’t seem to find any other time to do so, but when you’re skipping sleep just to have some alone time, this can have other negative impacts.

- So, why not spend a few hours on a leisurely morning doing this? Instead of sacrificing sleep, put aside your cares and worries for a guilt-free few hours where you curl up in your favorite chair with a warm mug of coffee to simply relax.

- Reach out to a friend or loved one, including those in your household, to simply chat or share a cup of coffee or a meal together.

Broadly speaking, include items that prompt creativity.

Allow yourself time to move your body and nourish your mind (and body).

Even seek to use this time to freely socialize with friends or family.

But, no matter what you do, let this time serve you.

The purpose here is to give your mind, body, and spirit a rest, a break from your never-ending tasks.

And, when you intentionally include moments or mornings where you can simply slow down and allow this kind of time for the pure purpose of refreshment, your health, work, and relationships will reap the benefits.

Health Benefits Of A Leisurely Morning

When you take a morning off, setting aside a few hours to spend alone or with your family in the intentional, slowed manner we’ve been discussing here today, there are a wealth of healthy benefits you will reap.

Studies show that even taking a short break, this time used intentionally, throughout the day boosts productivity.

That’s right, spending some time away from work and home tasks “can make you better at your job, more available in your relationships, more energetic with your family, and more able to enjoy life…”

Small breaks throughout any given day or breaks of a few hours here and there throughout the week will reduce your overall stress levels.

When you work without rest, or when you spend your resting times thinking about work or family tasks and problems, your brain essentially gets overloaded.

Think about it…you wouldn’t expect your body to continue functioning optimally if you never stopped moving, right?

Well, the same thing is true of your brain.

I know I certainly have trouble “shutting off my mind” at times, and honestly, it’s exhausting.

But, we simply must give our minds a break. And, when we do, our brains show forth the benefits of this rest with improved concentration, increased focus, and better memory retention.

Then, the simple act of slowing down for a morning (or anytime really) of rest can do just that…provide rest.

When we get this needed rest, whether through sleep or a few hours of dedicated wellness time, our health can be restored.

And, in most cases, this restoration of health translates to a reduced risk of chronic disease.

This is due to the fact that chronic stress takes a vast toll on our bodies, so needed rest serves to repair some of the damage done through the effects of stress.

However, for the most part, reaping these rewards means you’ll likely need to set boundaries, those which enable you to physically and mentally detach from your workplace, whether in or out of the home.

So, be sure to communicate with your boss, colleagues, and family members to better facilitate these needed times of refreshment.


Because you’re worth it. Your family is worth it. And, your health (mental, physical, and emotional) depends on it!

Check out Lifeboost Coffee EverLo Coffee Drops.

Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Headshot of Becky Livingston Vance
Becky Livingston Vance Content writer

Becky is a mother, educator, and content writer for Lifeboost Coffee. She has had three years’ experience as a writer, and in that time she has enjoyed creatively composing articles and ebooks covering the topics of coffee, health and fitness, education, recipes, and relationships.


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