Dear State of New York,
Ten minutes does not a break make.
But, that doesn’t mean there’s not more than a couple of ways to chill the F out on those lengthy 10-minute breaks the state sees fit to provide hard-working employees. While it may seem like that’s only enough time to grab a coffee, burn your tongue and call it a facetious ‘break’ in a sarcastic tone – it’s actually an opportunity to be much more.
The fact that I spend my breaks doing mostly the latter shouldn’t deter you either from heeding my always clever (thank you very much) advice.
Here is how you can chill the F out in 10:
- Catch up on the news: It’s election season and all you need is a smart phone and a chair to get the latest briefs regarding what’s happening politically. If that depresses you as much as it depresses me then check out a human interest piece or read about some amazing new piece of technology that’s coming out. Maybe you want to browse Yoga Journal for some helpful asana hints. Whatever you learn on your break at least you’ll have something fun and interesting (or dark and politically devastating) to share with your fellow employees when you head back to work.
- Work on your nutrition: Aka – have an apple. They’re a great appetite suppressant because of their impressive amounts of fiber… and you know what they say: nothing better than being regular… Or maybe you were going to go with the more conventional ” an apple a day” thing… whichever, they’re both correct.
- Phone a friend: Or family member. If you’re anything like me then sometimes you have a hard time keeping up with your… correspondence (are we still calling it that?). If so why not take 10 minutes to catch up with your mom, dad or long-lost half cousin’s kid? Having only 10 minutes to chat will make you burst with intentional words and it also gives you a reason to keep the call brief. That way you’re not stuck talking to your grandma for 45 minutes about her neighbor’s gossip or gallstones, but she still knows you love her.
- Enjoy the world’s shortest playlist: You can at least get two great songs in on a 10 minute break, so why not? Make them something fast paced and uplifting so when you get back to work you’re more productive than ever. There are more ways than one to jolt your system – the key to a faster, better day doesn’t just reside at the bottom of your recently used coffee mug… pump up the jams, man!
- Turn your day upside down: Were you beginning to forget this was a yoga blog? Well allow me to remind you: get into a headstand, handstand or forearm balance. Maybe warm up with a couple of sun salutations and then find time to let the blood go to your head and realign that abused spine. If you’re on your feet all day, hello they deserve a break; and if your position is that of a sedentary nature, beef up the headstand with a couple of leg lifts while you’re at it to get those abs nice and strong. Yoga isn’t just cut out for 1.5 hour blocks of time at a studio. Yoga is a lifelong, anytime, anywhere, wearing anything kind of practice. I don’t care if you live in a pencil skirt, keep a pair of shorts in your desk drawer for just such an occasion.
- Make like a yoga mat and lay flat: Take a seven-minute savasana break. Again, I don’t care where you work or what you’re doing, take savasana during your 10 minute break. There’s nothing weird about laying perfectly still on the floor for seven-minutes in the middle of your day regardless of your surroundings… or at least I don’t think so.
So next time you find yourself faced with a seemingly too-short-to-count-10-minute-long break, break out your creative stylings and do what you’ll do with it. After all, life is nothing if not a string of 10-minute-long moments strung together to create years upon years of memories and experiences. Don’t take any of them for granted.
Speaking of which, go enjoy that TGIF!
Stay awesome-sauce, yogis!