We’ve all been there. We get a ton of work done during a few hours stretch and then, suddenly … nothing. Your brain has reached its breaking point, and you’re no longer able to achieve anything productive. Rather than fighting this feeling, listen to it. It’s time to rest your brain. This doesn’t mean you need to zone out on social media or TV. Instead, give your brain permission to recharge while still doing something beneficial.
Connect with a friend.
There’s nothing more comforting than the sound of a good friend or family member’s voice. As you power down your computer for a bit, pick up your phone and call or video chat with someone important to you. Letting someone know you’re thinking of them has the power to change the trajectory of their entire day (and yours, too). You’ll appreciate the opportunity to catch up and share insights, and who knows? Maybe talking through a problem you were previously stuck on will generate new ideas.
Take care of your health.
Use the restroom, enjoy a nutritious snack, refill your cup of coffee, get outside. Moving your body and taking care of your physical needs will ensure that you come back to your tasks feeling refueled and refreshed. Short on time but in need of something filling? Try these quick snack hacks. You’re never too busy to listen to your body.
Your wheels have been spinning, your fingers have been flying across the keyboard, it might be time to just slow, everything, down. What smells do you find relaxing? Consider finding the perfect essential oil roll-on that’s right for you, such as this one, which uses notes of bergamot, orange, and lemon to promote joy and bliss. You could also light a relaxing candle, take a bath, or spend time in nature.
Complete a puzzle.
Just because your brain is overloaded with what you’re currently working on, doesn’t mean you need to shut it off completely. Sometimes you just need to switch gears to allow it a chance to think about something else. For instance, if you’re working on a word-heavy project, like writing a large document, try doing something focused on numbers, such as Sudoku™. On the other hand, if you’ve been pouring over a logistical dilemma and want to change direction a bit, completing a crossword puzzle will likely do the trick.
This is a fun one. Pick up an instrument, grab colored pencils, read (or write) poetry, and find what form of creativity resonates best with you. Tapping into your creative side teaches you new things about yourself, provides an outlet for you to express yourself, and even helps with problem solving. You might have an hour to spend unwinding with an activity you’re passionate about, or just five minutes. Either way, giving your brain a chance to switch things up enables you to return to your task feeling motivated and inspired.
No matter what tactic you take, it’s so important to listen to your body’s cues. If you notice a headache coming on, your legs are cramping from sitting too long, or you just can’t focus … it’s time to take a break! Tuning into your needs guarantees that you come back ready to produce your best work.
Needing a break and ready to phone a friend? Remember to practice empathy when listening to others. Learn how to increase yours, here.