Take a break


Just relax. Sounds so easy, right? We’ve all heard that taking breaks and stepping away from our desks throughout the workday help increase productivity and overall well-being at work. In addition to the tips found at Zapier and Idealist for optimizing your time at work, I queried my colleagues about their preferred relaxation and break-time activities and I got a variety of thoughtful and helpful responses. 

Take a brain break

Not surprisingly, reading is a popular way for staff members to relax for a few minutes. Mysteries and poetry topped the responses since we are  surrounded by great reading materials and “It’s easy to read a poem or two on break.”

Another popular response was to take a moment to pause between different tasks, often to call or text a loved one.

When in doubt, the third floor fish tank is a popular place to stop and gaze at the beautiful coral, fish, and other aquatic creatures.

Food and drink 

Many of the responses I heard included tactics for overcoming the mid-afternoon lull: a cup of coffee, a quick snack, or ice cream. Staying hydrated throughout the day is essential, too!

Get the blood moving

Many people integrate some exercise into their day, before or during work. For an at-work boost, many colleagues replied that moving around was essential. Some popular walks include heading down Nassau Street, or looping around Princeton University’s campus to take in some neo-Gothic architecture and fresh air. For rainy days or when time is short, a brisk walk up and down the library stairs helps get blood flowing again.

While you are at the library, check out this list of poetry, walking guides, and productivity books to aid in your own workday stress management.


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