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5 Minute Breaks

WEEK 3 MAY 2011

I was sitting in the foyer of an office building last week waiting for someone to turn up for a meeting,  just looking at the glorious garden outside (this was down in Australia, in case you were wondering where they have gardens in office blocks!) and there were a few of the office workers outside enjoying a smoke break and the beautiful sunshine and lovely garden. It made me realise something all of us non smokers miss out on – mini-breaks outside in the fresh air and sunshine, which is actually a great refresher for the brain and the body. Pity about the cigarette!  We can all learn from this ritual – without the cigarette.  Here are my top 10 tips for non smokers to do in 5 minute breaks!

1.  Take a quick walk around the block.
Fresh air gives you a fresh perspective. Return to your desk refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated.


2.  Drink a glass of water. 

Rehydrate your body and your brain.


3.  Stretch – both in your seat and standing up. Move! Become more flexible.  Relax your muscles and improve your circulation. You’ll feel so much better!


4.  Read one or two pages of a motivational book.

Get inspired!


5.  Take a dance break, if you work by yourself!

Turn on your favorite music and DANCE! It gets you moving, gets the blood flowing, opens up your creativity and makes you happier and more productive.

6.  Change your breathing:
Do some deep breathing, slow your breath down, fill your lungs. When we’re stressed, we shallow breathe and that just increases tension because we’re not getting enough oxygen through our body.  Sit back in your chair. Take some deep breaths, close your eyes and simply zone out.


7. Gratitude break.

Write a thank you note to someone you appreciate. It feels good to do and you brighten up someone’s day in the process.

8.  Change your scenery.

Take a walk around the block, change rooms, get away from the computer.


9.  Do 5 minutes of rebounding.

Re-energise you! Stimulate your lymphatic and immune systems, increase your metabolism and have fun!

10.  Do a few Yoga poses

Relieve your stress, give yourself a great energy boost and become more flexible.

The list really is endless.  Return to your desk refreshed, renewed, rejuvenated, and ready to be even more effective and productive!

Have an awesome week and enjoy lots of great 5 minute breaks, without a cigarette!


Ann Quinn, Ph.D Peak Performance Specialist


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