Updated: Oct 16, 2020
Remember free time? The opportunity to do anything your heart desires…
Yeah, me neither.
But what if I told you that there was a way to get free time back? As you may have heard, you can get estimates on your inspection reports in just 24 hours but what does that really mean? All the time you would have spent calling 10 different contractors just hoping one calls you back can now be spent on chasing another sale or giving yourself a well-deserved break.
Taking breaks is so important to performing good work, and the amounts of time you need to spend on breaks can be as few as five minutes to as much as a full day. Below are some ways to spend those precious breaks, from the least to most amount of time you have to spare.
Hug - <1 minute
According to Mental Health America, human touch not only releases serotonin, but reduces blood pressure and heart rate. Find someone in your quarantine pod and get to squeezing!
Laugh - 2 minutes (or more!)
Not only can laughing reduce anxiety, it can actually decrease pain! It’s time to replace the pain in your chest caused by stress with a pain in your stomach from laughing too hard. Find someone to tell you a joke, recount a funny story, or just watch this video.
Intentional Breathing - 5 minutes
Yes, really! Taking just 5 minutes to take deep, intentional breaths has a lot of positive health benefits. It clears your headspace, lowers your stress level, and helps you relax.
Pet a Dog - 15 minutes
According to Mental Health America, petting a dog releases the feel good hormones (serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin) and lowers the stress hormone (cortisol).
Stretching - 20 minutes
You may not know this, but your body holds stress in so many different places. Taking the time to do a quick, full-body stretch to let go of that stress will help you feel light and airy before taking on your next task. Here’s a great list of stretches to reduce tension in your body.
Exercise - 30 minutes
Before you scroll, just know that this doesn’t have to be an intense workout! Taking the time to walk your dog around the neighborhood will do the trick. Simply getting your body moving for just 30 minutes will not only reduce stress, but improve your sleep and mood in the short-term, and your overall health in the long-term.
Nap - 40 minutes
Make yourself a nice cup of caffeinated tea, drink it, then climb into bed in your dark room with an alarm set for under an hour (40 minutes is my preferred amount of time). According to The Sleep Foundation, “a study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.” Who doesn’t want that? When you wake up, the caffeine will already be kicking in and you’ll be ready to take on your next task without grogginess.
Pick up a Hobby - 1 to 4 hours
Having an activity that you enjoy will allow you to recharge. Some shorter activities include knitting or crocheting, reading or writing, and cooking. Some longer activities include biking or rock climbing, fishing, and taking classes like woodworking, dancing, or academic. Having a dedicated day for an activity you enjoy will not only give you something to look forward to during the week, but also give you a reason to stop and simply enjoy a task.
A Day of Rest - 24 hours
This is truly a lost art. Inc.com presents 12 reasons why a regularly scheduled full day of rest is actually scientifically proven to be beneficial. Some reasons include reducing stress, reducing inflammation and the risk of heart disease, and active time off adding years to your life. Check out the full article here.
And there you have it! No matter how much or little time you have for a breather, I hope something on this list can regularly fit into your schedule. And, now that you’ve reached the end of this post, take a minute to drop your tongue to the bottom of your mouth, sit up straight, roll your shoulders back, and take 5 deep breaths. This alone will send you off into your next task a little less stressed!
Abigail is the Marketing Coordinator Intern for Mighty. She loves popcorn, old lady hobbies like knitting, and, or course, writing. She has a little Chorkie (Chihuahua-Yorkie mix) named Ollie the Dog and can do a perfect impression of a siren.