Let’s face it; we rarely take the time to unplug during the work day. In fact, we spend just short of half the day in front of some type of screen, according to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The health benefits of relaxing away from digital technology are well documented, but it still is a challenge for many of us to find some time for ourselves. If you find yourself in this category, consider scheduling a 15 minute break every morning and afternoon. It will be quality me-time, and before you know it, those 15 minutes will become a welcomed break each and every day.
Here are four simple ways you can turn just 15 minutes into an actual break that will help refresh your whole day – and may just make you more productive.
Enjoy tea time: I love tea! In under 15 minutes, you can brew and enjoy a cup of tea. Choose your favorite ceramic mug (Great options here or here), add hot water, and let your tea bag steep for two minutes while you take a breath. No peeking at your screen while your steeping! For tea choices, I could spend all day talking about my favorites from Teavana! For teas you can find at most grocery stores and mass merchandise stores I enjoy Tetley , especially the Black and Green Tea. Disconnect and focus your energy on yourself until your cup is empty.
Meditation: Meditation is a great way to slow the heart, calm the mind and recharge the batteries. Just 15 minutes of meditation can help you improve your focus and reduce stress, bringing your energy back so you can accomplish everything on your to-do list. When I first started meditating mid-day, 15 minutes seemed long. But I set my timer to make sure I did a full 15 minutes. Now, 15 minutes seems to go fast and I look forward to those few moments to re-focus.
Take a walk: Get yourself out of your home or office for 15 minutes of fresh air. Pack a pair of sneakers and set a daily appointment on your calendar. Go around the block, or pick up the pace a bit and go for the mile. By removing yourself from your working environment, you can help your brain concentrate better when you return.
Stretch out the kinks: Sitting still for too long can leave your body achy and sapped for energy. Do some desk exercises to get your blood moving, like rising up to your tiptoes for a full-body stretch. Close your office door and put your phone on do not disturb to get the break you need. A couple of yoga moves are also an option, and can help relieve any neck or back tension that might be distracting you from your work.
If you start scheduling these 15-minute breaks, you’ll soon notice they become automatic, and you’ll start to look forward to the times of the day when you can pull the plug and enjoy some time to yourself.