We’ve all had those days when the hours start ticking by and your workload isn’t getting any lighter.
But when your mind starts feeling a little muddled by mid-day, that’s our cue to take a break from our desks and give our thinking muscles some much-needed relaxation. Of course, busy days are not the best time for scheduling an impromptu vacation. Instead, we rely on some fun mood-boosters that can fit quite easily into all but the busiest weekdays. Even better, these breaks will make sure you come back to your desk ready, willing, and able to be happier and more productive.
The trick behind our choices? We picked activities that get us moving, trying new things, or exercising other parts of our mind to bring some more excitement to our day…and help our minds get back to work rejuvenated and refreshed.
Take a walk ‘round the (new) block
You might think you know the area around your office like the back of your hand, but that’s because you never had reason to go looking. Try taking a longer route to your go-to lunch spot, or meandering down that funny little side street, and you may be surprised at what you find. Even if your neighborhood is short on hidden gems (which won’t be the case in bigger cities, we guarantee it!), the change of scenery and the mental stretch of taking in new surroundings will help shake the doldrums.
Need help? Google is your friend. Try searching for parks, antique shops, or dead-end streets near you. Then pick one and get going! You’ll be back in time for your next conference call with more miles (and endorphins released by physical activity) under your belt.
Grab a (new) bite
Morning coffee. Lunch time. Coffee break. If you’re anything like most lawyers, you probably have your established places to snag your snacks. These are usually places you know, enjoy, and can get to easily on a limited lunch break.
But there’s nothing quite like trying a new place, or even a new cuisine, to add some adventure to your day. Ask around (or make a note when you pass it) to find a brand-new place to grab a bite. The fun of trying new flavors, or even just interacting with a new environment, will give you something to look forward to. And the best part is, whether you find a great little gem or have a share-worthy fiasco, trying a new eatery gives you a great topic to schmooze about. (And if you’re not an adventurous eater, you can always pack a sandwich just in case.)
Want more? Poke around Yelp to find the latest and greatest places to eat near you. Just remember: Most comments are made by people who either really loved the food or really hated it, so take each one with a grain of salt.
Crack a (new) puzzle
Remember those other interests you had before law school? Revisiting them in the form of a puzzle or challenge is an easy way to perk up right at your desk, or on a local bench. And whether you were a reader or a math-lover, there’s a puzzle for everyone. And since so many of them have apps to download straight to your phone, you can give your mental muscles a workout whenever and wherever you’re free.
Personally, we’re partial to the New York Times crossword puzzle. But anything from Boggle to Sudoku will boost your non-linear thinking and get your adrenaline flowing.
Put down the phone and use old-fashioned pen and paper (even a newspaper, if crosswords are your thing) to give your eyes and thumbs a break, too.