By: Ruth James
Burnout and stress rates are at an all-time high. Workers are currently experiencing severe burnout, due in part to the individual and societal consequences caused by the current health crisis. In fact, a recent survey notes that 52 percent of workers today feel burned out, with the majority saying that the world has become more toxic and burdensome during the pandemic.
CEO and executive recruiter, Jack Kelly, writes on Forbes that not being in control of your career, as well as failing to attain success can also cause burnout. Because of this, it’s important that you do everything you can to stay productive at work. Here, we explain how you can leverage your breaks to optimize your body and increase your productivity.
Take long and deep breaths
Work breaks exist in order to give you some breathing room from your overbearing tasks. In this case, why not use your breaks to do breathing exercises. Because more than 70 percent of the toxins in your body are released through exhaling, doing simple breathing exercises can help detoxify your body. All you need to do to feel instantly energized is to sit up straight, breathe deeply from your abdomen, hold your breath for at least 20 seconds, and exhale forcefully until you drain your lungs. This easy breathing exercise can bring energy to your body and improve your brain power.
Snack on cortisol-lowering foods
We often encounter stressful situations at work. As a response to stress, our body releases the hormone cortisol into our bloodstream, causing our heart rate and blood pressure to quickly rise. Health and business leader Ben Greenfield, in his book Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging, highlights how you should strive to keep your cortisol levels down if you want your brain to stay sharp. So, be sure to snack on cortisol-lowering foods during your break. These include dark chocolate, bananas, green tea, probiotic-rich foods, and high-soluble fiber.
In a previous post, Raquel Baetz emphasizes that it’s important to stay active to reduce your risk of adverse health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers, and coronary heart disease. In this regard, try to squeeze in some physical activity during your work break. You don’t need to do strenuous exercises in order to reap the mood and brain boosting benefits of physical activity. If you work in an office, simply stretching every now and then can already give your body some relief. If you work from home, you can choose to finish an easy chore during your break — whether it’s taking your dog for a walk or vacuuming your room.
Socialize with your colleagues
Another way to enhance your work productivity during your break is by socializing with your colleagues. An article on Mayo Clinic explains that socializing keeps feelings of loneliness at bay, as well as sharpens your cognitive skills and memory. Simply talking to your colleagues about non-work related topics can already increase your sense of wellbeing and productivity at work. If you work remotely, you can socialize with your coworkers using telecommuting apps. By fulfilling your need for social interaction during your break, you can increase your motivation to complete your tasks at work.
We hope that the tips above have given you an idea of how to become a more productive worker and help you achieve success in your organization.
Article contributed by Ruth James
Exclusively for Smart Break
Ruth James is a business consultant and part-time writer. Her spare time is spent contributing to blogs, tending to her small garden, doing yoga and caring for her grandfather who has looked after her since she was young.