By Nicole Tinkham
So many of our blogs and tips we post on Facebook mention taking breaks when needed to increase your productivity. Stepping away from a project, taking a walk, or switching your focus are all great ways to take breaks throughout your day but every once in awhile you need to completely shut off your brain. Sometimes this can be tough to do especially if you have a long to-do list and a ton of things that need to get done. Even if you are taking your focus away from the project at hand, chances are you’re still thinking about it when you take your breaks. We’ll show you how to completely switch off your mind so you can take a mental break from life for a stress-free day.
1. Visualize Relaxation
We know you’re creative and used to using your imagination so this activity should come easy to you. Take at least 5 minutes to leave your work area, sit somewhere quiet, and visualize whatever it is that relaxes you. Picture yourself in a sunny field with the breeze blowing through your hair. Or you’re on an empty beach listening to the waves crash in. Really focus on this relaxing state and ignore your actual surroundings. Allow yourself to get lost for a moment and when you come back to reality, you should feel totally refreshed.
2. Listen to Relaxing Music
Give your typical music (or whatever you’re used to listening to throughout the day) a break and plug into some relaxing audio. We’re talking about nature’s music, like rain falling or birds chirping. As with visualizing yourself relaxing, listening to relaxing music will allow you to escape from the real world allowing you to leave your stress and worries behind. Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths to totally calm your mind. We recommend using Spotify, a free app to find relaxing audio.
3. Take a Nap
Not only does taking a nap feel incredible but it’s also shown to boost energy, productivity and creativity. Plus when you’re napping, you’re not thinking about he stresses of the day. Think you don’t have time to nap? All you really need is a 25-30 minute refresher. If you don’t work from home, taking a nap may be difficult to do during the day. If that’s the case, keep this tip in mind for the weekends. We know how hectic they can be and taking just a little bit of time to catch some zzz’s could be just the thing your body needs to power through the rest of the day and weekend.
4. Practice Yoga
Meditation and yoga are both proven ways to relieve stress. Either one of these mindful activities will work but we really like yoga since it gets the body moving. Not only will yoga help clear your mind but it will also improve your flexibility and your performance in other physical exercises you may do. Whether you’re meditating or practicing yoga, be sure to take deep breaths to really get yourself relaxed. And if you’re short on time a short 10 minute session can get the job done!
5. Seclude Yourself
Whether you love being around other people or it’s just not your cup of tea, sometimes you just need to be by yourself. With social media and drama in the office or with friends, you need to seclude yourself every once in awhile in order to hear yourself think (or not think). Spend some quality time with the most important person in your life, you! Turn off your phone and shut down your computer and tablet. This will help you get rid of all that negativity that’s out there. For now, you’re in your own little world.
6. Spend Time in Nature
We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of being out in nature especially to get out of a creative rut. It’s definitely our favorite way to escape the stresses of our busy lives. Being out in nature puts things into perspective. We rarely have time to enjoy this beautiful Earth we live on and that’s sad! Get out there and feel the grass and dirt beneath your feet. Soak in the scenery and just be present in the moment. Make sure you have plenty of time to do this as it’s so easy to lose track of time when you’re out there. But maybe that’s the goal in the first place 🙂
When reading over this list, we realize that you may not think you need to be doing these things. You might believe that it’s just a waste of time especially when you have so much on your plate right now. Listen up! It may sound crazy but taking just a few short breaks throughout your day or spending a little more time at some point during the week to clear your head, relax, and de-stress will actually increase your productivity. So by taking these breaks you’ll actually get more done than not taking a break at all. Of course we don’t expect you to do all 6 things on this list but try a few out over the next couple weeks and see what works best for you. This could seriously change your life!
What helps you to relax?? COMMENT below with your top tricks!