How do you enjoy yourself at work, despite the fact that you’re at work?
Take breaks. A lot of them.
Breaks have a bad rep. Many people think that taking too many breaks means that you’re lazy, uncommitted, and unserious about your work and deadlines.
But, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Breaks actually have the ability to make you more productive, more creative, more attentive and more organized. They also help reduce your stress levels while at work.
Here are 16 different things you can do in 15 minutes or less to take your mind off of work, while at work.
GET YOUR POSITIVE NEWS FIX
Reading about the all the positive things happening around the world is a great way to get your thoughts off of work and remember that there’s more to life than your current circumstances.
TAKE A WALK
Walking has been one of my new favorite things to do to clear my head and to rejuvenate my mind. Go outside, and walk around your office building once or twice. Get some fresh air and maybe even invite your favorite co-worker to take a stroll with you.
Just sit and daydream. Let your mind wonder. Think about where you see yourself in the next 2 years. Or, if that makes you anxious, think about your next vacation or the upcoming weekend. Donothingfor2minutes.com is a great starting point to help you get your thoughts to the land of dream. It forces you to relax and do nothing for two minutes. If you move your mouse or keyboard you have to start over.
Snacks are the best. If your office is loaded with snacks, stroll over to the snack section and pick up a treat. Eating healthy snacks like blueberries, nuts and kale chips can help improve your memory and brain power too.
READ YOUR FAVORITE BOOK
If you have a book you’re currently reading, bring it to work. Step away from your desk. Go to a conference room or break room and read a few pages of the book. Please make sure the book is not related to work – those books don’t count.
You’re probably used to making some type of coffee run throughout the day. But are you making your visits to your favorite coffee shop at the right time? For most of us who wake up between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., the best time to drink coffee is somewhere between 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. So don’t hesitate to get up around 2:30 p.m. for another cup! And, if you’re feeling generous take some coffee orders around the office.
Doodle. Scribble. Color. Whatever you want to call it, it’s good for your soul. Coloring apparently has great benefits. But if you’re not the type to have a bunch of crayons and makers at your desk. Get some good ‘ol pen and paper and scribble away. You don’t have to be an amazing artist to find scribbling relaxing.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
Who doesn’t have headphones at work? A day without headphones at work can be miserable. I’ve made u-turns back home because I forgot my headphones. So if you find yourself always listening to music throughout the day, take a few minutes to make a new work playlist. Add in your new favorite songs. Your vibe will thank you later.
Yes, sleep. Taking even just 10 minutes to sleep can increase your alertness and focus, especially if you’re overwhelmed or not sure how to handle a big task on your plate. Go to your car and take a quick nap. One of my friends used to even keep a handy blanket in her trunk to make sure her naps were as restful as possible. Buffer goes as far as to say you should nap every day! So, rest your eyes, don’t be ashamed.
Spending hours upon hours sitting in the same spot can affect your health, especially if you don’t work out regularly throughout the week. But, you don’t have to let your body deteriorate because of your work schedule, and you don’t have to replace your chair for one of those balls either. Here are some simple ways to get some exercise in at work without looking silly.
REMEMBER YOU HAVE FRIENDS
Text your best friend or a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. You can even convince one of your friends to play Connect Four with you, if both of you have iPhones.
Call a loved one and just check in on how they’re day is going so far. They’ll love hearing from you and talking to them will make your day too. Still, if you’re not in the mood to do any of those things, walk over to a co-worker’s desk and ask them how their day is going.
Meditating is a little bit hard and involves much focus, particularly if you’re a restless soul like me. But with practice you’ll end up seeing amazing results. In the simplest form, spend a few minutes taking deep breaths and allow yourself to become fully present of your surroundings. If you want to dive deeper into the concept of mindfulness, Fully Present by Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston is an insightful book to read.
Write down your thoughts. Grab a notebook and free your mind. Jot down whatever it is that’s on your chest. Don’t think about a topic or why you’re even doing it, just do it. It’ll help you clear your mind in just a few minutes.
PLAN SOMETHING FUN
If you haven’t noticed, you’re usually the most happy when you’re excited about something that’s about to happen. Take 15 minutes to look up flights for your next vacation, or at the bare minimum search for your next destination spot.
Or, if one of your loved ones has a birthday on the way, start brainstorming things to do or gifts to get them for their special day.
CATCH UP ON TheSkimm
If you’re not familiar, TheSkimm is that bestfriend who keeps you updated on all the things happening in the world, without boring you with all the details. It’s the free subscription you need if you never want to sound stupid or unaware at another conference or networking event.
VISIT BUZZFEED.COM AND TAKE A QUIZ
Why not get lost on Buzzfeed? Do I really need to explain the reasoning behind this. If you need a starting point, try this quiz,
Now you have no excuse not to take a break at work. You just read 16 things that you can do to de-stress and refresh your mind while on the job. Decide to take two 15 minute breaks today and pick two different things to do.
And, please don’t feel guilty or ashamed about stepping away from your desk. You’ll soon discover that it’s the best thing that you could ever do for yourself while at work.