How to Take Effective Breaks

Whether you’re studying for an exam, working some overtime, or putting in the hours on a passion project, breaks are essential. They benefit both you and your work. Not only will you return to your desk feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, but your work will benefit too as you get back to it with a clearer mindset. Here are some tips to maximize the effectiveness of your break.

1. Rehydrate

First and foremost: hydration is absolutely vital when you’re working. Some people forget to drink enough water when they’re busy, and others opt for coffee, which actually causes dehydration in the long run. Drinking plain and simple water is fantastic for the mind and body, so you should start every break with a glass. Fruit juice (with no added sugars) is a wonderful alternative, and herbal teas (especially green tea) are a healthy way to give yourself a lift without the added caffeine.

2. Get moving

After hydrating, exercise is the best way to give yourself a mental lift. Even going for a short walk will leave you feeling invigorated, more so if you stroll amongst nature. Light jogs, and running gets the blood pumping, boosting concentration and chasing stress hormones away. If you don’t feel like leaving the house, exercise equipment like bikes and treadmills are useful alternatives that yield the same effects.

3. Play a game

Games are a useful way to spend your break because they divert your mind completely from work. Even if you go for a walk, you might find your thoughts wandering back to whatever you were working on, but games are attention thieves and, therefore, perfect. Sampling some of the exciting games at is a surefire way to take your mind off work, and you can even do so on your mobile phone. Spending half an hour gaming is the equivalent of a mental reset, and you’ll be able to return to work and look at your tasks from new angles.

4. Take a power nap

It’s always a risky proposition (sleeping for too long leaves you feeling drained), but a short power nap of around 30 minutes works wonders. This gives your mind a chance to switch off, but it’s not long enough to release the full array of sleep hormones, so you won’t wake up feeling groggy afterward. Plugging into some relaxing sounds or even using scents can help you drift off quickly, just don’t forget to set an alarm!

5. Tidy up

Work accumulates mess, and if you’re working hard, that mess is likely to build up fast. A messy workspace has a negative effect on mental health, making it more difficult to concentrate and leaving you feeling stressed. Taking a few minutes to tidy up on your break means taking control of your space. Not only will it cut stress levels, but it will probably make your work easier. Having documents to hand certainly saves time, and it’s a lot more efficient than searching through piles of paper.

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