50 Ways to Take a Five-Minute Break

It seems counterintuitive.

We have a to-do list a mile long, and yet we feel the need for rest.

But if we rest, we won’t apply ourselves to the to-do list.

How do you know if we should rest or not?

1. Listen to your body. It gives signals to share when you are over-tired.  Are you yawning a lot? Feeling clumsy? Mentally scattered?

2. Consider your emotions. Are you irritable or short-tempered today? Are you being snippy with people?

3. Take a 5-minute break. You may not be able to take a nap at your job, but there are lots of ways to take a five-minute break. Consider these ideas, many of which came from one of my “Question of the Day” discussions on my personal Facebook profile:

  • Step outside, preferably in sunshine, and take several slow deep breaths (and then probably check my Facebook.)
  • Close my eyes and just breathe.
  • Sit still and stare into outer space.
  • Meditate on the Bible or other inspirational material.
  • Breathe, making a conscientious effort to exhale a little more deeply.
  • Play ping-pong with a co-worker.
  • Play a mindless game on my phone/tablet.
  • Dance.
  • Find a quiet place to sit, close eyes, and slow down breathing, clearing my mind.
  • Do part of a crossword puzzle.
  • Take a quick bike ride.
  • Sit and watch birds at a feeder.
  • Turn lights off in the office, close door and put head on desk (hoping not to fall asleep!)
  • Read part of a book I’m working through.
  • Do yoga or other forms of stretching.
  • Turn music up loud and dance/sing.
  • Walk outside.
  • Go find a beautiful view nearby.
  • Walk up and down a flight of stairs.
  • Stand on tiptoes.
  • Go out onto deck/patio/lanai.
  • Lay on floor and stretch, then wrestle with my dog that pounces on me.
  • Play with my kitten.
  • Walk 250 steps per hour (reminded by FitBit)
  • Get coffee.
  • Call a loved one to say “hi.”
  • Text or call a friend that I haven’t connected with for a while.
  • Write a thank-you note.
  • Make a fun flipbook drawing using a little post-it note pad.
  • Listen to a podcast.
  • Take the dog outside.
  • Refill water bottle.
  • Take a look at social media.
  • Play an instrument.
  • Color.
  • Have a healthy snack.
  • Wash a few dishes or do some cleaning.
  • Fold laundry.
  • Use the restroom and take time to breathe while there.
  • Journal.
  • Read an article/post by a favorite author or blogger.
  • Read to or play with a kid.
  • Do some food prep.
  • Tidy up my desk area.
  • Look through some inspiring photos.
  • Do some form of strength training.
  • Post something uplifting to social media.
  • Pray.
  • Do an act of kindness (i.e. give a tip to a service provider such as a security guard, public works/sanitation worker, etc.)
  • Focus eyes on a distant scene to give them a break.What would you add to this list?


Image by silviarita from Pixabay

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