Benefits of taking brain breaks in pandemic times
After some months into the start of covid-19 outbreak, workers who have been teleworking may have noticed that they now spend more hours working than what they used to do at their office. The option of taking brain breaks is not part of their daily schedule. One of the main reasons for this is that in the absence of a fixed schedule, and not being able to go out, they prefer to use the time available to resolve and finish outstanding issues or to keep themselves entertained while at home.
On the other hand, we find ourselves bombarded not only with information regarding the news of the day, but also with social pressure. This pressure that makes us believe that if we don't get out of quarantine with 20 new projects, a terrific body, a book written, and being masterchef, we will have failed the confinement.
It is important to remember that this is not a contest of productivity,. What is really important is to prioritize our safety and wellbeing, both physically and mentally. We all should see the current situation as a marathon rather than a sprint.
We tell you the benefits of taking brain breaks:
- Increases creativity
- Increases productivity
- Decreases burnout levels
- Improves strategic thinking
- Helps keeping the mind clear and focused
Taking brain breaks or letting our minds wander, allows the brain to consolidate memories, reflect and integrate past experiences, as well as plan for the future; in other words, it helps us to process the information we receive on a daily basis, to shape and give meaning to our lives.
If your company has given you these holidays off, we recommend YOU TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR WORKING DUTY (or at least during the weekend). Even if you're still indoors, changing your mind to "holiday" mode, completely changes the panorama.
Here are some recommendations, which we will personally apply in our team and hope they will give you some ideas:
- WRITE: You probably haven't had time to process everything you've experienced in these weeks, since everything happened in a very abrupt way. Writing has been proven to help you organize better your thoughts and ideas, and also to process hidden feelings.
- KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR BELOVED ONES. Taking advantage of technology, it's a good time to move from video calls with colleagues at work, to video calls with family or friends to catch up.
- DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY (like dancing or playing with your dog). When you do something that makes you happy, your brain produces dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes you feel good.
- DRAW, PAINT OR MAKE ART. Artistic activities are proven to increase cognitive reserve, maintain neural function, as well as help maintain fresh memory, and stimulate creative thinking.
- MARIE-KONDO YOUR HOUSE. If you see the organization of the home as a task, you may prefer to skip this point, but you may find some satisfaction in seeing the place where you spend more time organized.
- MOVIE OR SERIES MARATHON. Time to catch up with the new series, or to watch again that saga of movies that you like so much.
- PLAN YOUR MEAL FOR THE NEXT WEEK. You can use these days to make a list of foods that will help strengthen your immune system, to have it ready the day you go to the supermarket. Here is a link to 16 foods recommended by nutritionists.
Extra: We found this fun challenge in social networks, where the Getty Museum challenged people to recreate art pieces with what they have at home, and which is undoubtedly encouraging participants to make the most of their creativity.