You Need A Break

Nora Zelevansky
3 min readOct 25, 2022

Why playing hooky can lead to more productivity and happiness

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Yesterday, I took a break.

I’m not talking about glancing purposefully away from my laptop screen for a few minutes periodically, which I am terrible about doing despite my eye doctor’s pleas. (I am always disappointing that woman.)

I’m also not talking about standing up, stretching and moving my body for a few minutes, what my husband insists on referring to as “exercise snacks” because of some New York Times article he read during the pandemic. (Thanks a lot, guys.)

I’m not talking about crossing to my couch, lying down and taking a power nap, which I also would never do.

I’m not even talking about pausing to meditate or take a mindful walk to process and think about my life. That has its time and place, but sometimes even that sounds like work!

Nope. I’m talking about an honest to goodness break. I’m talking about blowing off work to go see Bros and eat tater tots by the myself in the middle of a Monday afternoon.

As a freelance writer who isn’t always in control of the ebb and flow of my workload, this has long been my move. Pre-kids, when I lived in LA, on days when things were so slow that I wondered if my email was broken (that’s a thing!), I would often wander over to The Grove movie theater…



Nora Zelevansky

New novel: COMPETITIVE GRIEVING (Blackstone). New nonfiction: ROLL RED ROLL (Hachette ). Bylines: NY Times, T&C, WSJ etc.