Untitled design-9Whether you work from home, in a cubicle, or at a call center, you are likely taking a few breaks during the day (rare though they may be). They may be so short and fleeting, in fact, that you’re tempted to let them pass by altogether.

Don”t do this. Why? Because there’s a lot that happens, and can happen, in the short, sweet span of a five-minute break: You can stretch your body, shift your mood, have a laugh, take a few deep breaths, or change your perspective (by looking somewhere besides your screen). The benefits of this brief respite go beyond the chance to flip through Facebook (again). Instead, you can use it to recharge your batteries, reduce the negative effects of stress, and reconnect to your sense of wellbeing.

Stumped on how to do all that in a short break? Here are some quick ideas to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. Try one or two – you’ll be better off than you were five minutes ago.

* Take a tech-free break. Lift your eyes off your screen(s) and check out the scene around you. Just changing your field of vision gives your brain a chance to recharge.

* Find a quiet corner, close your eyes, and breathe in for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale completely to a count of eight.

* Step outside and let the shine on your face, arms, back or legs. The vitamin D boost is good in the moment and over time.

* Send a video message. Yes – you can use tech to create something meaningful. Forget text: Film yourself delivering a 30 second message, telling an audience of one how much you appreciate him.

* Surprise one friend with an actual phone call. No answer? Leave a fun message.

* Walk around and connect with as many people as you can, even if it’s brief or little more than a pat on the back.

* Compliment more than one person. See how many genuine kind words you can share in under five minutes.

* Take a brisk walk. Outside is recommended.

* Check your posture. This simple exercise can change how you breathe and feel: Imagine a string connected to the top of your skull, drawing you upward toward the ceiling. Feel yourself getting longer and lighter, your ribcage floating over your pelvis.

* Drink some water. You may not think about it much – but being dehydrated can really slow you down. Replenish your inner resources with 8 oz right now.

* Brew – and sip – some tea. Never underestimate the calming ritual of even a simple tea ritual. Try a different flavor, such as lavender, chamomile, or peppermint.

* Straighten up your work space. You’ll clear your mind and feel more in control of your day.

* Hit play. Listen to five minutes of the most beautiful music you have at hand – the tunes that make you feel calm and positive about the world.

* Write a list of 10 things you are grateful for.

huffingtonposthealth.com  August 3, 2015

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