During your work-day, have you had situations where you’re sitting at your desk, working for hours straight and then feel like you’ve hit a wall with your brain energy?
Brain breaks may be the solution for you.
I recently completed a course called Organize Your Mind, based on the book, Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life. I did so in order to obtain the necessary continuing education credits to ultimately apply for future certification with the new National Consortium for Credentialing Health & Wellness Coaches.
One of the top takeaways for me in this course was the notion of brain breaks. The idea is, instead of constantly plowing forward through work, to move and give yourself consistent brain breaks every 1-2 hours. In doing so, you’re both countering the toxic effects to your brain and heart from sitting too long, and you’re helping yourself be more creative and energized.
When you take a brain break, which initially can be anywhere from 2-10 minutes, you allow your mind to wander, yet this practice allows the brain to keep solving problems out of focus. Consider the ideas that pop into your head when you’re in the shower. Taking brain breaks is consciously giving your brain such breathing space.
If you consider the idea of your vehicle’s gas gauge, ideally you want to insert a brain break before you feel like your brain energy is on empty. You might find you need shorter brain breaks before lunch and longer brain breaks after lunch. Think of a brain break as a way to move and recharge yourself before your energy gets too low.
What are some possible actions for you to take on a brain break?
- get up and look out a window in a different area from where your desk is located
- climb stairs
- take a coffee or tea break
- mindfully walk outside (notice how your feet feel in your shoes, your posture, what you’re doing with your hands, your breathing, sights, sounds, smells)
For those of you who work from home, other options include:
- play with your pet
- take out the garbage
- check your US postal mail
- do laundry
- empty the dishwasher
- water some plants
- yoga poses and/or stretches
In experimenting with this concept, so far my most fun brain break has been using my new Simply Fit Board. I get up and twist on it for about 5 minutes, and it gives me a solid break, with some fun movement. For me, I find taking a break every 60-90 minutes is what I need.
I encourage you to play with brain breaks over the next month, and notice the difference it makes in your work day productivity.