By Monica Mizzi
When trying to maintain a good work-life balance, there are two main issues you may face when it comes to breaks: Either you take too many or not enough of them. However, finding a balance between these two extremes can help improve productivity, reduce stress and make your overall work day much more pleasant.
But, how exactly can you make the most of breaks when working at home? Read our expert tips below to find out.
Break Away from Technology
Most of us spend the majority of our work days staring at a screen. So, it’s important to take a proper break from technology during your break from work.
“When you finally get a bit of respite from work, it can be tempting to spend the time catching up on the latest happenings on Twitter or watching your favorite Netflix show,” said Angela Stringfellow from Watchdog Reviews. “However, looking at a screen — whether it’s your computer screen or phone screen — is the last thing you should be doing on your break.”
Although she’s an avid technology user herself, Stringfellow stresses the importance of taking proper technology-free breaks for your health.
“Staring at a screen can cause serious eye strain,” she said, “so it’s vital to let your eyes rest every so often, even if only for a few minutes at a time.”
Creating a proper work space at home can also help make it easier to avoid screens during breaks. This could be as simple as choosing a space that you can fill with plants and where you can retreat for a few minutes to take in a naturally soothing view. While you’re at it, consider adding a comfy chair and your favorite print reading material for an added value to your mental break.
Complete Simple Exercises
Exercising is one of the best things you can do on your breaks when working at home. Even if a trip to the gym isn’t feasible, there are plenty of simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. In fact, working out at home has become all the rage recently — and not only because it’s highly convenient.
Many people are also ditching the gym for at-home workouts because of how much more affordable they are. Instead of paying eye-poppingly high gym membership fees, you can complete an entire workout in your abode with easy-to-use home workout equipment. There are also a range of options to choose from, so you’re sure to find a piece of exercise equipment that suits your preferences.
Even if you don’t have much time on your hands, don’t let this stop you from exercising! A short, 10-minute session can boost your mood, increase your energy and improve your overall health.
Fix a Proper Lunch
When you’re overloaded by work, it can be all too easy to eat unhealthy food. That is, if you even give yourself the chance to eat at all! Unfortunately, it can seem like a luxury to sit down for a proper lunch when your inbox is flooded with messages or when you need to follow up on a pressing matter. However, trying to sustain yourself on unhealthy snacks will do your productivity — as well as your health — more harm than good.
For instance, if you’re eating highly processed meals day in and day out, you may start to feel sluggish. You may even start to gain weight. After all, these types of meals usually contain substantially more salt, sugar and other additives than the daily recommended intake. Alternatively, if you’re skipping meals altogether, you won’t only be dealing with a rumbling stomach, but you’ll also find it hard to concentrate due to a lack of healthy energy consumption.
That’s why it’s well worth spending your break fixing yourself a proper meal. The best part is that you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen, either. There’s no shortage of quick and healthy lunches you can throw together during your break.
Take a Timed Nap
This tip is especially useful for any home workers who find themselves crashing during the day. A timed nap can be the perfect antidote if you’re feeling exhausted. The operative word here is timed. If you’re seriously tired and don’t set an alarm for your naps, you may risk waking up hours later to a not-so-happy boss!
According to Medical News Today, “Taking a nap in the afternoon can serve as a reset button for some people, allowing them to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to finish their day.”
But, how long should you nap for? While the so-called ideal nap time is still up for debate, most experts recommend 20 minutes as the sweet spot.
Monica Mizzi is a freelance digital marketer who specializes in SEO and content creation. She works with a number of companies, including Girls Who STEM. Monica is deeply interested in promoting the advancement of girls and women in STEM, and therefore spends much of her time learning about how to become a better ally.