Picking a New Year’s resolution is easy. Sticking to it — not so much. It can be challenging to find a resolution for the coming year that is both practical to implement and beneficial to your life. One practice that is simple to incorporate into your work day — and will boost mood, alleviate stress, enhance job performance, lead to greater job satisfaction among your team, and help create a positive company culture — is daily mindfulness breaks.
Mindfulness improves job performance and makes employees happier with their work, reducing burnout and turnover. According to “Why Taking A Break At Work Makes You A Better Employee” by Karen Pallarito, taking short, frequent breaks during the workday leaves employees with more stamina, while the more hours that elapsed before a break, the less energized workers were. A 2016 Science Daily case study also tells us that mindfulness improves relationships through greater empathy and compassion, especially in work environments that rely on effective leadership and team building.
So, how does one make space for mindfulness in the workplace? What can you do in a short time to help you relax, refocus, and recharge when you’re at the office — and perhaps more importantly, when you’re working from home?
We’ve scoured the web to find these easy, fun ways to practice mindfulness right at your desk:
1. Let go of intrusive thoughts
It can be challenging to stop ruminating over negative, stressful, or worrisome thoughts. With Pixel Thoughts, you can type out whatever is bothering you into a star, and then watch that star grow smaller and smaller until it disappears into space. It’s a nice way to be able to vent and clear your head, while also being reminded of the vastness of the universe, which can put that intrusive thought into perspective as you let go of it.
2. Do nothing for two minutes
It’s not easy to break away from the demands of the workday, but even just two minutes of mindfulness can make a big difference. This website forces you to stop clicking, typing, and scrolling for just 120 seconds. Do Nothing for 2 Minutes gives you a sunset view paired with relaxing music; all you have to do is bask in it until the timer runs out. It makes you realize how much time we often spend multitasking and how important it is to slow down for a moment and reconnect to the present.
3. Create a soundscape
It can be nice to listen to music while you work, but sometimes it proves to be too distracting. A great substitute is creating an ambient soundscape — a comfortable middle ground between music and the background noise of your workplace. With A Soft Murmur, you can create a blend of various soothing sounds like wind, waves, rain, and the crackling of a fire to help you relax and refocus.
4. Get some perspective
When we’re feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities and stressors in our work lives and personal lives, it can be hard to pull back from the situation and look at the big picture. Not that we should discredit our own feelings and worries, but in many instances, it’s nice to have a reminder that the small mishap at work today isn’t the end of the world — that in the grand scheme of things, this one moment does not matter enough to let it affect our mental well-being. Here Is Today shows you a timeline, starting with today, then expanding to this week, month, year, century, and so on and so forth, dating all the way back to the dawn of time and how this day fits into that.
At Blue Beyond, we incorporate at least one moment of mindfulness into our company meetings. Sometimes our CEO will lead us in a meditation exercise, or one of our employees will teach us new yoga poses. At one of our most recent team days, we even took some time to build our own zen gardens, so that each employee would have a little piece of mindfulness to keep at their desks at all times. We hope that you’ll join us in continuing to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives, to give us even more clarity and peace in the new year.
Lila joined Blue Beyond in 2017. She focuses on web production, social media, content development, and creative projects. Lila holds a BA in Psychology and enjoys researching and writing about organizational culture.