Research has shown that our brains can only focus for 90 – 120 minutes at a time before it needs a break. But often we get caught up with our ‘busyness’ and jam pack our days with things to do.
Instead of choosing to take a break, we decide to power through the day with our lists. Sometimes depending on circumstances it would make sense.
However, if you find yourself consistently having to sacrifice your break time this can increase your stress level and be detrimental to your health.
So whether you are working during the day or in the evening, at home or at the office here are a variety of simple fun ideas you can do/choose from to fit your work style.
1. Color with crayons
This is the latest trend to help adults de-stress. Psychologist says it’s a great relaxation technique because it takes us back to our childhood as we focus on the activity, our creativity and takes our mind off our worries.
2. Take a bath
Nothing beats a nice bath with Epsom salt infused with calming essential oils wonders to rejuvenate you.
3. Light a candle
A flickering flame can center you and provide a soothing effect to help reduce stress restoring the light in your daily life. As a bonus pick a candle with an amazing scent that is relaxing.
4. Take deep diaphragmatic breath
When you take a deep belly breath it helps trigger you parasympathetic system, which is what relaxes the body. It is what helps bring more peace and vitality into your life. And don’t forget when you breathe out, let out a sigh!
5. Do some gentle stretches
We are often hunched over at our desks, working in front of our computers. This causes us to feel tension in our neck, shoulder and upper back pain. By taking a break and doing a few stretches can do wonders and help reset and realign your posture. Click here for tips.
6. Turn up the music
Music has an undeniable way that speaks to our soul. Sometimes all that is needed is to turn up your music and get lost in it. Or, if you choose to – get up and dance. Afterall, It never hurts to move your body.
7. Rest your legs up on a wall
This yoga pose is known to help with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Lay down on your back (support or unsupported) with your legs up against the wall and chill for more than 5 minutes. You’ll begin to feel the affect.`
By taking a little time to meditate can actually be more beneficial for you in the long run. What you are doing is training the brain to be more mindful and less susceptible to being caught up in the distractions of life. Check out some tips here on how to find time to meditate.
9. Get out in nature
There is something about being outdoors seeing the beauty and getting in touch with mother Earth that gets rid of stress and brings peace and balance back into your mind. You can go to a park or sit out on your balcony. Watch the clouds go by. Or if at night, look at the stars. If looking to get active, you can put on an audio book and go for a run, take a bike ride, fly a kite.
10. Pet a furry animal
The feeling of touch and the action of stroking your pet builds your sympathetic emotional bond and creates a sense of a safety that engages in renewal.
11. Take a Drive
If you’ve got time, why not take a drive? Drive out to the country, drive to a farmer’s market, drive somewhere new and meander around town, checkout an art gallery.
12. Take a nap
There have been studies done that napping is good for you. It can improve our well-being, productivity and help boost our cognitive abilities. So why not take a power nap!
13. Create your own coffee break
Be it coffee, or tea, or grabbing a healthy snack. Or simply replenishing your body with some well needed water (consider adding lemon and cucumber) – to make it more refreshing, your body needs to be nourished to maintain your bodily systems and energy you need.
14. Examine everyday object with fresh eyes
Sometimes when you look around and focus on an object, taking the time to look at it from a different angle or view, it helps distract your mind from your mind chatter. And it gets you back in focus and into the feeling of appreciation.
15. Find inspiration
Need inspiration to keep you going? Read or watch something funny, lighthearted or inspirational.
16. Buy some flowers
I used to think flowers are a waste of money. But I’ve come to really appreciate how much flowers can change the energy of a room, lighting up not only the room but also my heart in reminding me the beauty of life.
17. Call a friend
There’s nothing better than giving a friend a call you haven’t talked to in a long time to just say hi! Hearing their voice and having a proper catch up over the phone vs. SMS.
18. Write a letter
There’s something nostalgic and sweet when you receive an old-fashioned handwritten letter in this day and age when time is so precious. It shows you’ve taken the time to think about someone you care about.
19. Engage in small acts of kindness
The benefits of serving other and giving back or even just giving thanks is not only good for your mental and physical health, it’s also good for your soul. It reminds us of all the things we have to be grateful for, and brings humanity together.
20. Use your imagination
Literally, imagine being somewhere you want to be, daydream about what would you like happen in the next year. Or you can also imagine and think of new fun silly ideas you can do to create your own break. I like to do a headstand. Or maybe you like taking selfie’s so take a selfie to capture what you are up to so that you can keep a photo journal of your progress along your journey of achieving your goal.
Whatever you do, remember that taking a break is about giving your mind and body a break from being ‘On’. It is you giving it time to recharge, doing things that may require less effort (but are equally important to you) – that brings you a sense of peace and fulfillment to your body, mind and soul.
What’s is your favorite way to take a break? I’d love for you to share below.
Also by Theresa: 4 Things You Must Let Go to Be Happy
Related: 10 Ways to Pamper and Detox
Photo: Mary Hood Luttrell