Have you ever heard the phrase, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? If you’ve watched the movie “The Shining” you’ll know there’s a special significance to those words.
This simple sentence conveys a very basic truth. We can’t spend every moment of every day being productive, regardless of what time management professionals teach us. Sometimes you need a chance to unwind, if for no other reason than for the sake of your mental health and wellbeing.
The question is, how can you get what you need when you don’t have time to unwind? The answer is easy. You find it in micro-breaks designed to help you unwind.
Close Your Eyes and Breathe
Sometimes all you need is a super short vacation. Give yourself one by staying right where you are and sending your mind on a break instead.
Learn Something New
Grab a language lesson from Duolingo. Read a short article of interest. Spend a few minutes on a hobby. Teach yourself a card trick. Doing things that stimulate the brain helps you unwind whatever stress or anxiety you’ve been accumulating throughout the day.
Got time for a few stretches, a short walk, or some basic exercises? You’d be amazed at the difference in how you feel if you unwind through exercise.
You wouldn’t think you could write a decent journal entry in a few minutes, but you can if you’re making a bullet point journal or keeping short lists instead of going for a long, more traditional entry. Jot down good experiences, accomplishments, or even just things you like about your day for the biggest benefit when it comes to unwinding.
There’s something to be said for a small piece of chocolate or another small treat during the day when you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed and need to unwind very quickly.
Talk to Someone
We all benefit from being social now and again. How about a quick phone call to a friend or a couple of messages on social media to reconnect?
If you’re lucky enough to be away from light pollution, you can venture outside to take a look at the stars if it’s dark out. Or, if it’s daylight, see if you can find shapes in clouds. Unwinding through nature is incredibly satisfying and very restful.
Of course, all the micro-breaks in the world aren’t going to be a substitution for real rest. At some point, you’re going to need to unwind. At least for now, though, having a small break is better than nothing at all. Take what you can get and plan for a better period to unwind later.