Why We Should Think Of Recess To Cope With Stress At Work
I remember running out of the school double doors to get to the swing first. I used to love when we would split into teams and play baseball in one long, never-ending game.
We all hated when it rained and we had to stay indoors in the classroom reading quietly. All of us just wanted to be out, running around and enjoying active time with my friends.
Recess was the best part of my school day. It held excitement and energy and made me feel better about reading, writing and arithmetic. In fact, we know from our research that:
School children who receive more recess time behaved better and were likely to learn more. Click to tweet
But recess time is declining. Since the 1970s, children have lost about 12 hours per week in free time, including a 25% decrease in play and a 50% decrease in unstructured outdoor activities. And adults are suffering too.
Recess At Work
In our workplace we don’t call it recess, we call it break time. And according to research, 1 in 4 of us barely even get up from our desk to go for a bio break, let alone get outside. There is no excitement. No energy. And almost certainly, no fun.
When we don’t take a break we create a stressful workplace. And when we don’t restore our energy, we are setting ourselves and our companies up for higher stress, lower morale and engagement, poor creativity and employee performance issues.
Today is Recess At Work Day, but this should be a mind-set that we adopt and celebrate daily to reduce our workplace stress. It is an easy opportunity to build resiliency, create team spirit, engage employees, increase morale, improve health and wellness and share some fun with those that you work with.
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Building Resiliency By Celebrating Recess At Work Day:
- Change your mindset. Breaks are a necessity, not a luxury. It showed that workers who failed to take breaks were at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. They were more stressed than other workers, which led to plaque build up in the arteries.
- Sitting for longer than 30 minutes places unhealthy stress on your spine, which can result in muscle atrophy and vertebral disc problems.
- Like this software…Computer software, like Enuff PC or Scirocco Take a Break, is available to help you take breaks. You download the program and it can block you out of computer use after a specified amount of time. After you take a short break, the program will allow you access to your computer again.
- Schedule a break with another person which will encourage you to be on time for the break period.
- Get outside and get some air and a dose of sunlight especially in the fall and winter.
- Don’t forget to nourish and hydrate your body. A cool glass of water will help to get you thinking clearly and bring your energy level up.
- Plan something engaging and fun and be in the moment for that short period of time.
Some Fun Activities To Make Your Stressful Workplace More Enjoyable:
Have a game of nerf gun tag, or check out the latest AI adventure together. What about waiter relays, a laugh-a-thon or air band contest? Or just declare it red nose recess and see the smiles on your colleagues faces as these are handed out before you head out the door for your dose of fresh air. The sky is the limit and fun is the goal. Happy Recess At Work Day everyone!
What are you favourite workplace fun activities?
Contact Beverly about hosting a mental health workshop for your teams on how to build resilience. Learn relaxation strategies, and discover coping tips to deal with stress, change and crisis!
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!
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