How to take short breaks during your work-from-home routine amidst the coronavirus pandemic

Working from home is the new normal, but it’s important to take regular breaks to work better and drive productivity. Try these simple tips to recharge.

With work from home being the new normal, no set boundaries, and the lines blurred when it comes to the amount of work hours you put in, your physical and mental health is of paramount importance.

If you are stuck to your desk all day or glued to your phone, it is sure to affect your posture. By the end of the day, niggling aches and pains are sure to surface. Also, continuously sitting in one place and concentrating on one thing all day may not be productive – the brain, research tells us, does not have an attention span for a complete eight hours as you’d like to imagine. The mind wavers, fatigue sets in, and you are not as chirpy as you were when you started in the morning.

So, it’s wise to take a few breaks while working from home. You may miss your office cooler or the walk to that coffee place, but here are a few ways to recharge and get back to work fresh.

  • Stretch regularly. After every half-hour if possible. Check with your fitness trainer or physician on stretching exercises you can do at or around your desk. This increases concentration.
  • If the going gets to you, drop whatever it is that you are doing, relax in your chair, and close your eyes. Think of anything apart from work, of relaxing holidays and fun times you had with your family. When you open your eyes, you will feel better.
  • If the work you do is extremely stressful, take some time off to start off on a crossword or a Sudoku puzzle, away from your desk. Perhaps you can spend a few minutes in the conference room with your headphones on, listening to soothing music. Music helps you to relax.
  • Once in a while, walk around your home or in the corridor, and spend a few minutes talking to your family or flat mates. Share an interesting tidbit or news of the day. Have friendly arguments and come back to your desk rejuvenated. Standing up and walking around increases circulation to the muscles, which can improve your comfort level throughout the day.
  • Keep a stress ball handy. Use it whenever you feel the need to.
  • Keep some healthy snacks on hand instead of bingeing on junk food. Replenish your brain with a snack.
  • One of the best and powerful ways to relax your brain is a session of meditation. The easiest way is to sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and feel the stress moving out of your body. Learn proper breathing techniques from a qualified instructor and it can help you a lot in easing stress at work. Or else, you could sign in for a Zoom class on yoga, meditation, or other relaxing techniques.
  • Lunch hour and tea time are meant for eating and taking time off from work. Make it a point never to discuss work with your family, or your struggles during this time. It can take the fun out of eating and the break as well.

Take a break! It’s all in a day’s work.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai