Say Goodbye To Toxic Productivity With This Easy Midday Wellness Tip

It can be easy to be swept away into a go-go-go routine, where we rarely pause to consider if the areas in which we're applying most of our energy actually align with our core values. Productivity is often at the center of our daily schedules when certain responsibilities are stacked up, which is sometimes necessary. However, in terms of quality and longevity, placing more of a focus on your purpose rather than your productivity is actually linked to living a longer life (via Blue Zones). And tends to be a lot more fun too. This is well understood by the people living in Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, Nicoya, Costa Rica, Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California — also known as the Blue Zones. These are the areas in which people live the longest and are the healthiest.


In other words, taking some time midday to slow down and focus on your true purpose is key. This could look like walks through nature, meeting up with friends, meditating, nurturing your spirituality, getting outside for community events — or whatever brings you joy and ease. It may sound fairly simple, maybe even obvious, but this healthy practice of essentially chilling out in the afternoon can be swept away by toxic productivity. Here's how to reclaim your ease.

Reframe how you think about work

If you've been trained to prioritize work and career over just about everything else, shifting to a more balanced pace of life will take some intention. But doing so can have great results when it comes to your overall well-being. "The people in the Blue Zones really work to live, and in a lot of productive societies, we really live to work, and I don't know if you're going to improve your stress much unless you're able to flip that [dynamic] around," Robert Agnello, DO, assistant professor of family medicine at Campbell University, told Well+Good.


So, when you clock out in the afternoon, really clock out and ease into something that soothes your soul. This may look a bit different for everyone, but the goal is the same: settling into joy and purpose. Thinking of work as more of a vehicle to get us where we want to be in life rather than the destination itself can help a ton.

Make it a happy habit

Getting into a routine with your joy and setting wellness intentions to the point where you really notice its absence when you miss your midday wellness hour is a great place to be. Whether it's yoga, tending to your garden, or making art, the routine of your happy habit will start to propel you in the right direction. Clocking out and moving into chill mode can be difficult if your productivity builds a lot of momentum within you throughout the day. However, the importance of downshifting can't be emphasized enough.


Even a short period of time each afternoon can lower stress levels, as per Blue Zones. "In these [Blue Zones] of the world, people are not going in the gym and pumping iron, but they're riding bikes, taking long walks, and playing soccer — good natural movement to get the heart rate up," Dr. Robert Agnello told Well+Good. So, when midday rolls around, pump the breaks, and do whatever you need to shift into relaxation.