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Medium.com: The 3 Breaks You Need to Take Every Day

Medium.com: The 3 Breaks You Need to Take Every Day

Read The 3 Breaks You Need to Take Every Day by Laura Vanderkam, from Medium.com, September 17, 2020.

 

Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday.

Medium.com: The 3 Breaks You Need to Take Every Day

Read The 3 Breaks You Need to Take Every Day by Laura Vanderkam, from Medium.com, September 17, 2020.

Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday.

Recently, my cousin Savannah asked me about strategies to help organize the day. Had I been asked a year ago, I would have had a great set of answers.

But in the last few months, all of those rules are now out of the window. My new mantra: any decision is a good decision for now. 

However, I know that isn’t a great motivator to help find structure where structure one existed. Thankfully, the author Laura Vanderkam in The 3 Breaks You Need to Take Every Day addresses ways to use breaks to help add more structure – and well-deserved mental and physical breaks – into your day so you listen to your body more frequently. 

The 3 breaks are physical, social, and spiritual(ish)

Break 1: Physical

This might include a walk around the block, walking the dog, going for a run, doing a workout video, jumping rope, doing some kettlebell exercises, or hustling up and down the stairs.

Break 2: Social

This could involve grabbing coffee with a colleague (or FaceTiming over a cup of coffee if you’re working virtually), having lunch with your partner and kids if they’re around, or calling a friend or family member you want to catch up with.

Break 3: Spiritual

A spiritual break is a little less intuitive, but in this context I mean anything affecting the human spirit or soul. Plenty of soulful activities can fit just fine into a workday: praying, meditating, reading spiritual texts or devotionals, listening to uplifting music, looking at something beautiful, or doing anything that connects you to something larger than yourself.

Pick breaks from each category that appeal to you and then, before each day, look at your schedule and figure out when you can plan them in.

How to schedule your breaks

Here are a few sample daily break schedules:

Monday

  • 10:30 a.m. Move a text thread with a friend to the phone for a few minutes
  • 1:00: Read an inspirational book while you’re eating your lunch. (We have a few suggestions)
  • 3:30 p.m.: A short mid-afternoon walk to clear your head.

Tuesday

  • 11 a.m.(ish): Push-ups between morning meetings
  • Lunch: Lunch with your roommates (who are all working from home)
  • 4 p.m.: Meditate for 10 minutes in the afternoon

Wednesday

  • 10:30 a.m.: Listen (really listen) to Beethoven’s Ninth in the morning
  • 12 p.m.: Go for a run in lieu of a sit-down lunch
  • 2:30 p.m.: Immerse yourself in the nearest natural environment (even if it’s your backyard)

The breaks can be short. Real short. One study tested break lengths of 1, 5, and 9 minutes, and all these break conditions made people feel better. Yes, even a one-minute break made a noticeable improvement. Anyone can find 60 seconds in the day, though you can probably find more. After all, social media consumers average over two hours a day on these sites — not all of them outside work hours.

Those are breaks, sure, but consciously chosen ones work a lot better.

 

Continue reading The 3 Breaks You Need to Take Every Day by Laura Vanderkam, from Medium.com, September 17, 2020.

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