Studies show that children who receive more recess in school, behave better and are likely to learn more. Recess also helps to keep children healthy and helps them manage stress. As an adult, having unstructured break time offers the same benefits!
Let’s face it…sitting at a desk all day, or in front of a computer, can be draining, boring, and cause eyestrain. In addition, repetitive keyboarding can cause pain in the fingers or wrist. Before the “Is it time to go home yet?” whine sets in, a break is definitely necessary.
For the break to be effective, the brain needs to disengage from work. Thinking of the next thing on your to-do list, will totally defeat the purpose. Trust me…whatever you have going on will still be there after your few minute break, but you will also come back more focused and more creative.
The best thing would be to get out of the office setting completely and go for a walk, but if not there are some great apps to help clear your mind.
The following apps offer various types of meditations, and they are free. I have an Android, but these apps, or similar ones, are available for the iPhone as well.
- Buddhist Meditation Trainer: A 3-minute timed meditation with a thoughtful quote and picture to focus on.
- Zen Garden Lite: Make your own Japanese garden, rake the sand, and place objects like rocks and statues.
- Satify Mindfulness Meditation: Set meditation length from 5 – 30 minutes. Pick starting, ending, and background sounds, such as babbling brook, ocean, wind, or no sound at all.
- Take a Break from Stress by Meditation Oasis: A choice of 2 timed, guided meditations.
Reinvigorate yourself and your mind… Add recess to your workday, every day.