- Apart from eating, we tend to spend our breaks in idleness. Whether this consists of doom scrolling on Instagram, or simply staring off into space, many of us simply do not spend our allotted break time wisely.
- While relaxing on break is also a valid option, exercising, reading, and socializing with coworkers also has its benefits.
- Instead of spending time on social media during breaks, try to make habits out of exercising, socializing, reading, and even planning your next career move. Doing so will help to improve your well-being, productivity, and career in the long run.
Having a break from work isn’t just a benefit you get from your employer; in fact, it is your right as a worker. Indeed, it is precisely for this reason that breaks are, in some states, legally required for employers to provide.
Breaks aren’t merely privileges specifically because privileges denote wants, rather than needs. Breaks are rights because they are necessary for the well-being and productivity of workers. To work eight hours a day, five days a week, with no breaks during work hours is a recipe for burnout.
Of course, taking a break at work is mostly centered around eating. Aside from this, however, most of us often take for granted the fact that breaks belong to us. In other words, breaks are our time.
Yet, despite this, apart from eating, we tend to spend our breaks in idleness. Whether this consists of doom scrolling on Instagram, or simply staring off into space, many of us simply do not spend our allotted break time wisely.
To spend one’s break in idleness can sometimes be necessary. We all have our days where our body and mind are giving us all the signs that stillness is needed. In these cases, calm rest is surely the best option.
However, the point here is to not make a habit out of idleness or mindlessness. Research shows that spending breaks like this can contribute to chronic mental fatigue –precisely the opposite of what we want out of our breaks!
This article will provide some suggestions on how to spend your break time more wisely, so as to improve your well-being and overall productivity.
To exercise, you do not need gym equipment. You just need yourself, some physical space, and time. Luckily, breaks at work tend to provide all three of these conditions.
Exercise has been proven time and time again to reduce mental fatigue, while improving feelings of depression, anxiety, and physical fatigue.
Some ways to exercise on breaks can consist of stretching or long walks –in other words, exercise workers can do while still having the ability to talk, because you won’t be too out of breath. This may be preferable as such exercises allow you to reap all of the benefits of regular general exercise, without returning to the office all sweaty.
Research your next move
The reality is, many people are fed up with their jobs. This is clearly evidenced by the Great Resignation.
However, many people struggle to find the time to work towards their next move in their careers. What better time to work on that than during your break at the job you’re trying to leave.
You need not be overly-scrupulous about doing this; if a job you are in is no longer serving you, you have every right to leave, and therefore, every right to use your time to attain that goal. Some of your coworkers are probably doing the same thing.
Most of the time spent on researching your next move will be spent online, so carve yourself a private space to use your phone to get the research going. That way, you can maintain the financial and occupational stability of your current job, all while working towards something better on your own time.
The trope that “reading is not for everyone” is nonsense. Some may prefer the idea that those who do not read have simply yet to find a book suited to their tastes.
Use your break to consider the things you are interested in. This could be as simple as your love for sports or fashion. No matter what it is, you can expand the dimensions of your interest by bolstering it with the beautiful information conveyed about it in books.
It isn’t just that reading can expand your understanding of your interests. It is also good for your brain, well-being, and productivity. In fact, reading can help you speak clearer and with a greater grasp of language, which is sure to benefit your performance at work.
Get lunch or coffee with a coworker
The modern-era is surely the most socially isolated.
Many find it challenging to make friends at work, and when we are on our breaks, it is palpably clear that people prefer to spend their breaks alone –as is indicated by their being glued to their phones.
Social isolation, however, can bring with it devastating health consequences, including but not limited to heart problems. As we get older, and old friends begin to have families and move away, some of our only opportunities for social connections occur at work.
Hence, it is worth putting your best foot forward when it comes to making friends with work colleagues. Ask others if they’d be interested in getting coffee and lunch during break time. Chatting with your coworkers can be an extremely rewarding pursuit –these are the sort of interactions that can even manifest into lifelong friendships!
Use your breaks to relax and zone out when that is needed. We all have that need from time to time. But if you make a habit of doing that, be forewarned – it will come at some great costs.
Instead, try to make habits out of exercising, socializing, reading, and even planning your next career move. Doing so will help to improve your well-being, productivity, and career in the long run.