Whether you are a CEO, a business owner, or crushing your current 9 to 5 – or if you’re parenting 12 kids or taking care of an elderly parent – you are interested in this article because you know you need a few minutes to yourself. You need a refresher or some space to breathe.
But it seems no matter where you are in life, taking a break feels…
Now, when we talk to friends, we often acknowledge that we know breaks and days off are crucial to our health, and let’s face it, mental stability. But actually taking breaks often causes a mental fight that we ultimately end up losing.
When you’re under stress, in the zone, or needed by others, all the best intentions of taking care of yourself go by the wayside.
But here’s the thing. All those people you’re helping? All those clients’ projects you’re hustling over? If you want to fully show up, you’ve got to put YOUR OWN oxygen mask on first.
I know it’s counterintuitive.
That is why they say it on every. Single. Flight. Because unless you’re a sociopath, your natural inclination is to help others first.
So, as you build up your mental muscles, here are some ways to start taking small breaks that can help you feel energized and refreshed.
Take 10 minutes (yes, you can even set a timer) and see what a difference a small little break can make.
1.) Take a walk.
No, not around the office to “kill two birds with one stone.”
Get outside and get some fresh air. Breathe deeply. Getting your body moving helps blood flow, which is going to help reenergize you. In fact, walking helps you think better, get more done, and relate better.
2.) Lie on the ground.
Yes, literally lie down on the ground.
Think about it. Unless you’re into yoga, this is probably the only time during the day and night that your back and neck muscles can properly relax. Hard mattresses and stiff couches don’t count!
Let your spine melt into the floor, close your eyes, and tune into your thoughts. Warning: this sparks A-HA moments, too.
3.) Appreciate and capture the little things around you.
Want a shift in perspective that will increase your creativity?
Go on a photo-snapping spree outside, around your home or office, and capture the little things that amaze you, inspire you, or stop you in your tracks.
As soon as you put that mental lens on, you’ll be astonished by what captivates you. (And you won’t want to stop!)
4.) Get inspired!
Read some inspiring stories that will make you happy, relaxed, and excited. Upworthy is chock full of articles that will get you feeling good and motivated.
5.) Play on Lumosity.
Dan and I both love using this little app as a welcome break. We both schedule it into our calendars every day.
Lumosity has various types of games that were designed by neuroscientists in order to improve core cognitive functions, including memory, problem solving, and attention… plus it’s fun!
6.) Daydream on purpose.
Daydreaming has gotten a bad, totally undeserved rap. Daydreaming can actually make you MORE productive. It can help you solve problems and realize your deepest desires, ideas, and plans.
Have you ever had an A-HA moment in the shower or while walking the dog?
That breakthrough is a result of “diffuse mode” thinking. Our most creative ideas and powerful realizations don’t spark when we’re intensely focused. They emerge when we’ve drifted away from the task at hand.
7.) Do NOTHING for 2 minutes.
Visit www.donothingfor2minutes.com and then literally sit and do nothing for two minutes. This site lets you sit, relax, gaze at a beautiful photo, and listen to soothing waves.
There is no better way clear your head while sitting at your desk. BUT… the second you move your mouse away? You fail and have to start all over!
What do you like to do when you need a short break? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
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