We love exploring the great outdoors, but lately we’ve been spending a lot more time inside. Sometimes, this time at home can be relaxing or help us be extra-productive – but if it turns into too much time on the couch, behind a desk or all alone, it can be downright unhealthy.
Remembering to take breaks for your health – physical and mental – can make the difference between comfort and burnout. Here are a few of our favorite ways to break up a day at home.
1. Stretch Break
In our offices, “stretch breaks” – small exercise breaks designed to reduce injuries and increase comfort – are a regular part of the work day. At least every couple of hours, take a few minutes to stretch, focusing on different parts of your body: shoulders; upper back; chest; hips and lower back; hands; and feet and legs. A little stretching now can prevent a lot of pain later.
Physical activity is good for your body and your brain, and a proven way to enhance creative thinking. Plus, studies show that time outside decreases stress – so rest assured that a well-deserved walk break can help brighten your mood. When you have a chance, take a stroll with a family member, pet or neighbor, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
The same foods that give us energy for our favorite outdoor activities (like trail mix, granola and cereal bars) give the brain the vital energy it needs to power through the work day. Stretch your legs, take a walk to the kitchen, and dig into berries, seeds and nuts for a tasty and brain-healthy treat.
As productive as days at home can be, they can also feel a bit isolating without the company of friends or coworkers. Between catching up on your reading list, checking off some chores and putting in time at the virtual office, make sure you take a break to catch up with friends and family for your mental health. If you’re home alone, try a virtual meetup – do an online workout together, take a walking phone call or enjoy a videoconferencing happy hour.
5. Virtual Vacation Break
If time indoors has you dreaming of your next vacation, you can experience the next best thing without actually leaving your computer: our partners at the National Park Foundation have created a library of interactive virtual tours, 360° videos and webcams that take you to some of our nation’s most beautiful national parks from the comfort of your home. Just click, stream and enjoy a virtual getaway.