10 Things To Do With Your 10 Minute BreakPublié le 8 April 2020
Taking breaks is an important part of the work day, even when we are working from home. Short work breaks of as little as 10 minutes can help us physically and mentally relax. With proper work breaks, we will feel better and be able to avoid burnout. A 10 minute break may not seem very long, but there is plenty that we can do during this period that will help us to de-stress and clear our heads. Here are 10 things to do with your 10 minute break.
We all need sleep, but one third of adults don’t get as much as we need. This leaves us feeling tired, restless, unenergetic and unfocused. Short naps taken during the day have shown to cause improved cognitive function, focus and concentration. Not only will these benefits help us while we work, but they will just make us feel better and happier as people. Technically, a minimum of 20 minutes of napping is recommended to get the full benefits, so don’t be afraid to combine a couple of your work break periods into one. Next time you’re feeling irritable, lie down, close your eyes and take a guilt-free nap.
The aches and pains that come with office work can follow us home and continue to bother us as we work remotely. It’s important to set up your home workspace to be ergonomic, and support proper posture while we work. Even with a supportive workspace, it’s still good to get up and move around. Stretching out our muscles and joints helps fight against stiffness and chronic aches. Even something as simple as standing up and moving in basic ways can help take pressure off our ligaments. You can find various stretching guides online that can walk you through the basic movements to stay limber and avoid pain, all of which you can follow during your 10 minute break. Remember to listen to your body, and stop if you feel any acute pain.
Working from home has the potential to lead to an all-day snack fest, and honestly there’s nothing wrong with that. Working from home with constant access to all our food is a new experience for a lot of us, and food can be a great comfort during stressful times. We all have to eat, we just have to try to eat some healthier and more nutritious snacks during the day if we want to keep our bodies and minds working properly. A handful of almonds, vegetables with hummus or some yogurt with fruit are just a few of the quick and easy ways we can get the essential nutrients to stay energized throughout the workday.
Have you drank any water in the past hour? Chances are you haven’t. When surveyed, 77% of workers said that they don’t drink enough water during the day. Water is vital for our health and well-being, and while there actually isn’t a set amount of water we all need to drink each day, frequent hydration is important. Even mild dehydration can cause us to be less alert, more irritable and experience physical side effects like dizziness. And don’t think that coffee, soda or energy drinks count, because these drinks actually cause more dehydration due to salt, sugar and caffeine. When you take a 10 minute break, take the time to pour yourself a big glass of water. Better yet, keep a water bottle at your workspace and routinely drink throughout the day, using your work breaks for refills and other types of relaxation.
We all know that seeing a messy space does not produce a calming feeling in most people. Cleaning and organizing are more than just chores that we have to do, in fact these activities can have positive benefits on your mental and emotional well-being. This includes potentially helping with feelings of stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling more clear and relaxed. You shouldn’t try to deep-clean your space from top to bottom while on a work break, but you can take this time to break these projects into smaller, more manageable chunks. In 10 minutes you can do the dishes, fold some laundry, reorganize your workspace and much more.
Learning doesn’t stop when we’re done school. We can always discover new interests, deepen our knowledge and gain new skills. It doesn’t have to be work-related, in fact, doing some hands-on learning for 10 minutes is a great way to reset and refresh your brain. You can solve a rubik’s cube, finish Sudoku or crosswords, sketch something on your table, learn to juggle or virtually anything else you can think of. Having fun and exploring what makes you happy is the best way to learn something new while on your 10 minute break.
When you’re feeling a bit trapped, books can be the perfect escape. Open to the first page and you’re instantly saving Middle-Earth, attending a fancy 1920’s party, starting your first day at a magic school or just hiking up the Pacific Coast. If you’ve managed to make it through your to-read pile and are itching for something new, many independent bookstores are now offering to deliver books straight to your home. For people who prefer eBooks, some libraries are still digitally open, allowing you to get the newest releases without stepping outside using your library card. If you are in the mood for the classics, tons of public domain books are freely available online. Don’t feel like you need to read an entire book as fast as you can, just take a little break and go on a literary adventure.
Working on a big puzzle can be a great way to take a break from work while still exercising your brain. Doing a puzzle can help you engage different parts of your brain, inspiring you to break any repetitive patterns of thinking and force you to look at things in multiple different ways. If you are feeling stress and anxiety, puzzles can be an effective way to channel that anxious energy into some positive. Completing a puzzle not only looks great, but actually releases endorphins that create positive feelings. You can get puzzles that are made of literally thousands of pieces, and working on it in short increments is a great way to take a 10 minute break.
Sometimes the best thing to do on your 10 minute break is nothing. With schedules, deadlines, projects and tasks, it is very important that we learn to step back from it all as much as possible. One way to do this is through mediation and mindfulness practices. There are a lot of apps and guides related to meditation, which can be very useful for those of us who want instruction and structure. It can also be as simple as closing your eyes and taking controlled breaths for a period of time. It’s just about clearing our minds, and doing what we can to lessen the mental and emotional stresses that affect all aspects of ourselves. Don’t be afraid to try a simple guided meditation, and see if it helps your mind to calm down.
Your break is the time to blow off steam and vent all the pent up energy. Working from home in the same environment can feel repetitive, and we can use our 10 minute breaks to shake up our routine and do something different. Turn up the music and dance on the couch. Don’t worry about feeling self-conscious or lacking skill. This is just for you (and any pets you have who will be a bit confused but will still love you anyway). Have fun and believe in yourself.
Remember that there’s no wrong way to spend your 10 minute break, as long as it ends with you feeling more positive, relaxed and better prepared to handle the rest of the day.