“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you.”
You can’t ignore fatigue and expect to be at your best. That’s why holidays are so darn important. But, what do you do if it’s impossible to get away? Implement Mini Breaks into your day.
It’s a practice we should follow all the time, yet in reality we often exchange rest for more work. That’s not a good habit to get into, especially if you are in need of a break you’re not getting.
So, in this week’s post I share four ways to maximize mini breaks, and share the benefits of each. I also share a couple of great resources below. Watch the video, or you can read the transcript that follows, and let me know the small and powerful ways you maximize mini breaks in your life.
Michelle Cederberg here, continuing the conversation around what it really means to give it a rest, and sharing four ways to maximize mini breaks when you can’t get away.
While it’s true that your mind and body are capable of pushing hard without taking a break, that relentless pace won’t come without a cost. Your brain is a massively energy-hungry organ that needs intermittent rest to operate at its best, and your body does better too.
Throughout your busy day, schedule in one or more of these mini-breaks to reset, refuel, and re-energize. “Take 20” every 90 minutes, or even take 5 minutes every 60. Listen to your body. It will tell you what you need.
Move Your Body
I rarely miss the chance to promote physical movement as a means for boosting mental focus and emotional wellness. Movement can increase blood flow to the brain, which boosts creative thought. Regular walks can enhance the connectivity of important brain circuits, combat age-related declines in brain function, and improve memory and cognitive performance. Movement can also make you happier and more energetic!
For an extra kick, exercise in nature. It’s good for your immune system and has been shown to improve focus and relieve stress.
For enduring energy and productivity, work hard for 90 minutes and then take a 10 or 20-minute movement break.
Listen to Music
Music has the ability to lift our spirits, distract us from stress, and transport us to a different place. It can also significantly improve our motor and reasoning skills, and it has a variety of health benefits as well. If you want to explore the power of music for health, happiness, and productivity PLEASE check out this fabulous book by my friend and colleague Jennifer Buchanan, an award-winning Music Therapist and coach. It’s called Wellness, Wellplayed: The Power of a Playlist, and it conjures nostalgia around the music you used to love and the music you love now. So good! Pick up a copy and read it during your work breaks!
Feed Your Thinking
Remember snack time in grade school? We’d stop whatever we were doing, grab our lunch kits, and sit for awhile to eat. As adults we need snack time more than ever, but we usually SKIP our breaks in favour of MORE WORK! Don’t do that. Remember how I said your brain is a massively energy-hungry organ? Well, it represents only two to three percent of your body’s weight, but consumes upwards of 25 to 30% of your body’s energy in the form of glucose (or blood sugar). To stay focused and energized you need to feed it regularly with brain- and productivity-nourishing foods. Try to avoid too much sugar or simple carbs in favour of healthier alternatives. Here’s a link to 33 healthy office snack ideas. Go check them out!
Grab a Nap
Although sleeping on the job might seem like a risky proposition, more and more big-name companies promote short mid-shift naps by providing nap spaces in their facilities for employees’ health, well-being, and improved performance. The benefits of a twenty-minute nap include improved memory and information retention, increased relaxation, reduced depression and anxiety, and increased energy.
Some experts suggest that anything beyond twenty minutes is too long, as you risk falling into a deep sleep. Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Council in the U.K., recommends a cup of coffee before you nap. Since caffeine takes about twenty minutes to kick in, you’ll benefit from a short nap and then the coffee will rouse you and you’ll feel more alert.
More Mini Break Ideas
- Have conversations with people you like
- Sit and daydream
- Make plans for something fun
- Meditate (or just sit and breathe)
- Read a book with pages you actually have to turn (my new book The Success-Energy Equation delves deeper into the ideas I’ve been sharing)
- Sit and sip your tea or coffee unencumbered
- Get away for half a day or a long weekend when you can.
Your break doesn’t have to be long to be effective but use that downtime wisely. Tech-free will set you free (I’ll talk about that next week).
I’d love to hear the small and powerful ways you maximize mini breaks in your life! Share in the comments, and share this post with anyone who might deserve a break today!
Until next time I’m Michelle Cederberg reminding you we’ve got one chance to do this life, I say Dare to Live It Big, and dare to fit in one or more of these mini breaks to maximize your energy.
♥ Does your workplace need a good dose of Post-Pandemic re-energizing this fall? Ask me about my half and full day Success-Energy Rest sessions to help you regain focus and recharge your health and productivity in this new world of work. Contact me to chat.
♥ Buy my new book via my website and I’ll send you a signed copy!
♥ Don’t forget to sign up for my 6 Day Work-Life Reset. This is the perfect time to do it, and it’s free, so click the link, and get going!
♥ Sign up for my socials below, because there’s all sorts of interesting stuff coming down the pipe.
Michelle Cederberg, CSP, MKin, BA Psyc