Take a Mini Break: 20 Minutes or Less Away From the Computer

Updated: Aug 22, 2019

Whether writing, editing, or liaising with clients, I spend the majority of my day on the laptop. Staring at a computer screen isn't good for my eyes or for keeping my body moving, but with deadlines rolling in it can feel like time away from the keyboard is only going to stress me out further by giving me less time to work with.

But to take the edge off, I have to step away from the computer and take a break from my assignments. Here are 5 ways to give yourself some headspace.

Walk the Dog

I don't have a garden, so with two dogs living with me I have to take three or four walks a day to keep them happy. In the winter or the rain it's a pain, but it's much more enjoyable in the summer, and if you don't dawdle you can walk a full mile in twenty minutes. Walking has a lot of benefits, but few of us would ever think of just going for a stroll, so taking the dog out is a much better prompt to get you and your furry friend moving.

Learning Apps

I'm using an app to learn a few phrases in a different language. Technically it is still looking at a screen, but focussing on learning a new skill prevents your mind from getting too bogged down with whatever you're working on -- and if you're using a mobile, at least you can move about. Learn a new language while walking the dog? I combine the learning games on my app with writing words and phrases in a notebook or sticking them on my wall with little pictures I've drawn: using pencil and paper is somehow more enjoyable than a touchscreen.

Do Some Chores

Don't distract yourself by deciding to do a full clean of the entire house. Maybe put away the clothes off the radiator and put the next load on. Run a vacuum cleaner through the place. Wash the pots on the side.

List Your Meals

Even if you don't cook many meals from scratch, you can't go wrong in creating a meal plan for the week. It's a pretty calming exercise for people who like to keep organised. Once you have your meal plan, you can create a list of things you need to make it. Plus, shopping with a list keeps you on budget and helps stop you picking up things you don't need.

Light Exercise

I took out a subscription service that has 15-20 minute dance tutorials. It's a fun way to get your body moving, without getting yourself so sweaty you need a shower straight after. I also have a hula-hoop: put on some music and get your sway on for a set time or number of rotations.

Did I miss any of your favourite ways to take a break? Add a comment if there's something that works for you.

#writing #writer #freelancer

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