6 Easy Ways to Incorporate Short Breaks into Your Day and Avoid Work at Home Burnout
With many more weeks to come of the need to continue social distancing in order to flatten the curve, more people than ever are working from home. I have personally worked from home for the last three years and while there are many benefits, one of the things they don’t tell you is it is easy to end up working more than you did before. The convenience of rolling out of bed to your desk (or dining room table in my case) can easily turn into you working well into the evening then realizing you haven’t moved for hours. Concentrating for a long period of time can be taxing both emotionally and physically. This often results in a tired mind, aching muscles, and a complete lack of energy.
What can you do to rest and revive yourself for short periods of time during your work day while still being productive?
Check out these suggestions for incorporating short breaks into your daily work routine:
1. Close your eyes and listen to three songs on your MP3. Most people have their favorite music easily accessible on their phone, MP3 player, or other electronic device. Choose music that relaxes you, put your head down on your desk, and listen to a few songs.
Let your stress float away and clear your mind as you let the music flow in.
Music soothes the body and soul.After three songs, you’ll be surprised at how relaxed you feel. You’ll regain the strength necessary to make it through the rest of the day.
2. Shut your office door, prop your feet, and lean back. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and count backwards from 50 to 1. You’ll be comforted by the sound and feel of your own ability to inhale and exhale. Then, open your eyes and you’ll feel refreshed.
3. Take a brisk 10-minute walk. Even while respecting distancing guidelines, you can still go outside and take a walk around the block, or even just around your home. Depending on your location going outside for a walk gives you the added benefit of getting vitamin D that helps boost immune functionality. Getting your blood pumping at an optimum level will make you feel revitalized!
4. Splash cool water on your face. Go to the restroom, splash cool water on your face and wrists, and then dry them off. Sometimes, cool stimulation to those areas is not only refreshing, but it can also wake you up if you're feeling sleepy.
If you prefer, wet a paper towel with cool water. Then you can continually blot your face, neck, arms, and wrists to stimulate your senses.
It’s amazing how much this little break can perk you up and allow your positive energy to flow again.
5. Relax and rejuvenate with a power nap.If your employer allows you a 15-minute break in the afternoon, use it to take a nap. Even if you don’t usually take naps, give it a try.
Set your cell phone alarm for ten minutes and try to snooze. If you have your own office, close your door, get comfortable in your chair, and grab a few minutes of shut eye.
When the alarm goes off, you still have five minutes left to take a brief walk around your department and grab a refreshing drink of water.
6. Go for a change of scenery. You might break out of your rut when you’re able to change your view.
If you work from home, take your laptop outside and sit on the porch to work. Or try working in the living room today if you're the only one home.
Although work can be tedious, you have some choices in what you can do to relax and revitalize throughout the day.
Use music, deep breathing techniques, walking, cool water splashes, power napping, and scenery changes in order to keep yourself alert and focused. These methods will help you embrace that next big project with optimism and renewed energy.