Whether you’ve had a morning full of meetings or experienced an afternoon slump, you’ve probably found yourself drained at some point of the day and in desperate need of a break.
Here are seven tips for recharging during your break.
Meditating is a lot simpler than you think. The point of meditation is to carve out space between a stimulus and a response. When your mind is present, you can focus on your thoughts and understanding them clearly. You can start by finding a quiet place, sitting down in a comfortable position, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing. If your mind strays to other thoughts, take note of this and focus on your breathing again. If you want more guidance before you start meditating, check out the Headspace app.
2. Go for a walk
Sitting in front of a computer all day is bad for your eyes and your overall health. Taking a break and trekking outside has so many benefits. You will get fresh air, lower your stress levels, and give yourself time to organize your thoughts. If you can’t go outside, try exercising indoors. You won’t need a CrossFit workout. Light weightlifting, running on a treadmill, or stretching can also give you the extra boost of endorphins that you need.
3. Open a book
The average American adult spends less than 7 minutes a day reading. Squeezing it into your day for even 10 minutes can have a great impact, including lowering one’s blood pressure and heart rate, increasing empathy for others, and lowering the risk of cognitive decline. Here are some professional development books that we at GovLoop highly recommend.
4. Flex your culinary muscles
If you are working at home, instead of eating a quick lunch or skipping it altogether, eat something that you enjoy that is also healthy. If you can, cook your favorite meal, whether it’s homemade mac and cheese or a pan-seared steak. Studies show that cooking benefits your mental health, allowing you to express creativity, feel a sense of accomplishment, and improve organizational skills.
5. Phone a friend
Calling a loved one can instantly place you in a better mood. Not only can you genuinely express your feelings with them, but they probably know how to make you laugh, allowing you to release feel-good endorphins. For those working from home, the lack of socialization can cause stress, as it is natural to want to interact with others. Utilize your break to lean on your support system.
6. Listen to music
We love music because it elevates our mood and energy levels. Anything that boosts cortisol levels and reduces pain sounds like a good idea. Don’t be afraid to turn on your favorite Spotify playlist during your break and jam to your favorite songs. If you still want to listen to music after your break is over, you’re in luck. If you are working on a repetitive task or trying to concentrate in a noisy environment, the music will help. Just don’t listen to it while you’re learning a new task, as it may distract you.
7. Do nothing
If you’ve spent the entire morning crossing tasks off your checklist, use your break to be idle. Free your mind of all the stress you’ve accumulated. Daydreaming allows our creativity to soar. Don’t feel guilty or unproductive; understand that your brain needs time to rest and restore.
Your break should focus on you. When you take a break, the primary goal should be mental restoration. Practice self-care and give yourself some rest. Trust us, your work will be there when you come back.