Getting a lot of work done in a day feels amazing, at least at first. As the day goes on, though, you might start to find it harder to keep your eyes open. Not all work tasks are all that exciting, and when you’re feeling low on energy, everything you have to do seems as if it’s going to take so much longer to accomplish.
You might even love going to work, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still have days that leave you feeling drained and incapable before the work day ends. You can get through it, though. Here are 5 ways to take a break at work and recharge your body in less than 2 minutes.
1. Engage in a 2 minute meditation
Work can be stressful, and stress is much more than just a psychological depressant. Stress can also affect the way you feel physically, making you feel fatigued and unmotivated. It plummets our energy levels and messes with our appetites. All that combined can make us drag our feet even when the day isn’t halfway over yet.
Meditation is a good way to give yourself a mental break, but it can also help you physically. By meditating just for two minutes or less, you can at least make an attempt to reduce physical tension and relax your muscles. You can focus on your breathing and slow your heart rate, too.
Try this simple 2 minute meditation exercise if you’re not sure how to force yourself to meditate in such a short amount of time. You can find a quiet place to do it, or you can simply sit back in your desk chair and slip on a pair of headphones to block out any surrounding office noise. Just don’t fall asleep!
2. Do a quick, desk-friendly exercise
When you start to feel your energy levels dropping, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to force yourself to get up and move. Sometimes you’re on deadline, though, and going somewhere else will put you at risk of completely stumbling off task. You need to stay close to your work station and move at the same time.
There are plenty of short and effective office-friendly exercises you can do at or near your desk that will help you relax but also energize you. Sometimes throughout the day we just build up a lot of tension and negative energy, but movement can help relieve all of that and replace it with the kind of energy that will keep us working hard.
Check out these quick and simple office exercises and get moving without straying far from your workspace. What matters is that you’re forcing yourself, at regular intervals, to stand up and stretch out your muscles. Sitting in the same position for too long can start to drain your energy after awhile.
3. Walk a lap
Are you feeling tense, sleepy, bored or frustrated? Talk a walk. A short one; just a quick lap around your general work area. All of these things can make you feel as though you won’t be able to make it through the rest of the work day without taking an impromptu nap at your desk, but walking it out can make a huge difference.
Walk a lap around the office our through the hallway or up and down a small flight of stairs. Get your blood flowing again and let your mind wander a little bit. Sometimes that’s all it takes to feel energized again.
4. Grab some coffee
If you need a really quick break from work and are struggling to keep your eyes open, get up and grab some coffee. Not only will caffeine help wake you up, but just the act of moving away from your work station for a few minutes to get it can make a huge difference in your energy levels.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant, so in the short-term, drinking about 100 milligrams (one regular sized cup) of it can recharge your energy levels and help you stay focused even when you’re tired, at least for a few hours. Just as long as you don’t overdo it, it isn’t going to hurt you.
There are also some long-term benefits to drinking caffeine on a regular basis, so make a mid-morning coffee run part of your daily work routine, even if you’re just grabbing a cup from the break room coffee maker. You can even use a coffee break as an incentive to push through that last morning task you’ve been dreading since you got to work.
5. Do nothing (no, seriously)
Here is what a short, two-minute work break is not. It is not checking social media, email or text messages. It is not reading an article or scheduling a doctor’s appointment or listening to a podcast. All these things require both your eyes and your brain, and the whole point of a break is to give those things a much-needed rest period.
The solution? Do nothing. Don’t check your phone or look at your computer screen. Don’t talk to your cubicle neighbor or think about your to-do list. Don’t even play a game on your phone, as fun as it may sound. Your eyes need a break, too. To put it simply, just sit there, completely still, for 2 minutes.
It’s okay to think about things during those 2 minutes. If you have to pick an object or spot on the wall to stare at while you sit there, go for it. The point is to just let your mind and body slow down. You will feel yourself relaxing and your energy slowly returning. It may seem completely pointless at first, but it isn’t: it works.
Try these things to recharge your body and find the energy to get everything done, even on a Monday when you’re tired from the weekend or on a Friday when you’re completely worn out from the week. Take a break and let yourself rest. It only takes 2 minutes.