the art of the mini break


The holidays are always busy, and we start to feel that right as October rolls around. It isn’t so much that Halloween is a huge holiday–not after you get past a certain age anyway. It’s more that invitations to parties are received and sent, and other social obligations start to take shape. Then we are reminded of all the other things we need to do, like lose weight, shop for presents, find a new recipe for potlucks, find old recipes for traditional dinners, wrap presents, pull out the linens, check to see if we lost enough weight, etc. etc. etc.  Combine that with a full workload, possibly a hobby or two, and you’re too busy to breathe!!


Why am I talking about this now?


Well, apart from the fact that October has just rolled around, lately, I have been too busy to breathe. So busy that my body forced me to take a break by getting sick. After five days of the flu, I realised that it is now October, and I am probably about to be busier than ever this year. So it’s best that I learn the art of the “mini-break.”


Not wanting to get sick another time this year, and knowing that stress can make you sick, I have come up with some “mini-break” ideas.


1) Facebook.   Though most people see this as procrastination–and really, it can be–a quick 10 minute break every three or four hours of work can really help. It gets your mind off things for a while, and it gives you a chance to catch up with what your friends are doing, which is always nice and will help you relax a little. It works for me, anyway. Just remember to time yourself!


2) Yogurt.  I call this ‘the new coffee.’  Maybe because I’ve been taking yogurt breaks and going on yogurt dates lately. A small cup of fat-free frozen yogurt is a GREAT mini-break! It will make you happy! If you have some extra time, do a bit of window shopping while you eat. Fun way to get your mind off things!


3) Napping.  Okay, not exactly productive, but a quick 10 minute nap can REALLY help. It can totally refresh you and keep you going the rest of the day. Plus, giving your brain this break is likely to give you a few new ideas here and there. I find mid-afternoon naps to be the best, and often more effective than afternoon coffee!


4) Reading.  A recent study showed that reading reduces stress! Keep a good book next to you at all times and give yourself six-minute reading breaks every now and again. Now you can finish whatever is on your reading list, and know that you are doing something good for your mind and body!


5) Making Plans.  This might just be a “me” thing, but I find that making plans is relaxing. When I can create lists, schedules, and get things sorted, I am able to relax. Maybe because I know what’s to come.


So that’s my list! I’m not sure if it’s any good, but it does work for me! I think the most important part of any of these suggestions is that you make sure you don’t think about work or any of your obligations. The point is to keep your mind off things. If you take a break and worry, you aren’t taking a break at all!


I’ve started using the illustrations of Pia over at LS Illustrated. I will be using her illustrations for the next few entries about Paris. First post will go up this week!

In the meantime, check out her illustrations and her Etsy store!


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