Incorporating purposeful and regular breaks throughout your day can help us reset and correct even on our busiest days.
Recently the US Army released some new guidelines for optimal soldier performance, and the list included “strategic and aggressive napping.” The first update in years reflects the growing science that links sleep with performance. This update is a much-needed reminder that we should all be taking time for breaks during the day.
Here a few easy ways to implement strategies into your day to get the best out of your mind and body. Which of these will you or could you try?
Take a “real” lunch break
Even if you work/study from home or in a physical office its important to make sure you carve out time for a real lunch break each day. These breaks don’t just include nourishment and food for your body, but also time away from your work tasks. Try to squeeze in some self-care ritual, whether it’s a walk, a meditation, or just listening to music. If your in an office environment, get out of the building for lunch, that way you incorporate a stroll and break from the work without having the urge to sit at your desk and eat lunch!
Schedule hourly “get up” reminders
We know that the time we spend sitting still while working and while at home has a downside it reduces blood flow to the brain and affects our metabolism and loads up our musculoskeletal system. For more info take a look at our previous blog. So set your watch or an alarm for 20 minutes get ups, where you can stand up from your desk and intentionally move for a minute or two. It does make a difference, go ahead and try it and see if your anywhere near as sore at the end of the day. Even if your in the middle of something see if taking the small break will improve your productivity and overall well being.
Change your hour-long calls to 45 minutes
If you have lot’s of meetings, tele-conferences or Zoom meetings try and book your meetings or calls with enough time in between, to give yourself a break, and to move around and recharge your batteries.
Sync up with your kids’ breaks
If working from home get in sync with your kids day. If they have a 15-minute break in the morning, one for lunch and another one in the afternoon, take that time to walk around the block together or ride your bikes as a family. Time your break around their school and after school activities. If your dropping them at sport, use the opportunity to do something too like going for a walk while you wait!
Switch up your environment
Carve out a mental reset in your day, try and change your environment to differentiate tasks. For example, move outside to a deck/patio when you need to do more creative and thinking work. Being in nature brings a different pace, take a walk around the garden or nearby park. The point is to disrupt the thinking mind with its racing thoughts and reset it.
Take a power nap
If you can manage it, take a power nap. Close the office door if possible, lie down in a park under a shaded tree, or even think of using your car if there is no office space. If at home stretch out on the lounge or bed. A power nap is a short period of sleep under 20 minutes. It’s meant to supplement normal sleep and give sleepers a burst of alertness and energy.
Incorporating motion throughout the day can enhance your focus and performance. Before you even start your work day, do an exercise regime or do something as simple as breathing exercises and a few light yoga movements. Even if you only have a 30-minute lunch break, walk or bike around the block before or after you eat. To avoid the mid-afternoon slump, carve out a quick break with movement or exercise for 3 to 10 minutes. The quick burst of movement stimulates and sharpens your mind. You can even find short exercise regimes on the internet and you can follow those on your phone.Play with your pet
If at home take a strategic break each day to brush your cat, dog, rabbit or even guinea pig and give him them a treat. Taking pause during a busy day to spend time with your pets can offer a calming, quick break with instant gratification for all.
Of course if you need any musculoskeletal support to get the most out of your day, give us a call at 0266744032 or if you would like an appointment call or book online.