Coffee Break: 15 ways to switch off for 15 minutes

Posted on by Elizabeth Shaw

It can be rather tricky, especially on rainy or busy days, to make the effort to switch off from work during a quick break – whether that’s in an office, or in the kitchen with toddlers around your ankles! Fitting in downtime is essential in taking good care of yourself, and all it takes is 15 minutes for you to indulge in a little of what you fancy. Here’s a quick round-up of 15 ideas for how to make the most of a 15-minute break, so you can unwind and have a little you-time.

1. Read a short story

Tackling that 500-page book that you’ve been meaning to read isn’t likely to happen in 15 minutes, so why not try a short story instead? Just long enough to escape to a far off place, but short enough that you really can justify those 15 minutes on the sofa.

2. Try a TED Talk

Ranging from 10 minutes to an hour or so, this collection of inspirational videos has something for everyone. Brush up your knowledge on a favourite subject or learn something completely new – the choice is yours.

3. Take a stroll

If the sun is shining and the birds are singing, taking a quick stroll is a piece of cake, however if it’s pouring with rain it can be a bit harder. We say dig out those wellies, zip up the raincoat and open that umbrella – a little fresh air is the best way to clear your mind.

4. Phone a friend

A surprise phone call will definitely put a smile on a friends face, and we’re all guilty of forgetting to phone those we care about from time to time!

5. Complete a puzzle

Whether that’s the crossword in the paper, the fiendish Sudoku puzzle or a logic game on your mobile, focusing your brain on something else for 15 minutes means that you’ll come back feeling refreshed and raring to go.

6. Try a little meditation

Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist form of meditation that helps you be in the present moment, allowing you to focus your thoughts and help close all those tabs you have open in your brain! There are plenty of free resources on how to practice mindfulness.

Enjoying today!
Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist form of meditation that helps you be in the present moment

7. Get crafty

Turning your attention to something crafty has been proven to relax you. Try a soothing, repetitive skill such as knitting or unleash your creative side with a sketchpad.

8. Learn a new skill

Imagine if you practised something for 15 minutes every day, how good would you be after a whole month? Whether it’s learning an instrument or getting to grip with a new language - set your sights on the bigger goal and you’ll certainly thank yourself for it.

9. Make yourself a playlist

Choose 4 or 5 songs that you find relaxing, motivating or simply love listening to that adds up to a 15-minute playlist. Promise yourself that you won’t return to work until you’ve listened to all the songs. (This is also a great tip for encouraging yourself to exercise!)

10. A speedy beauty treatment

Everyone loves a little pamper and 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to squeeze one in. Give you nails a good buff, wash your hair with that luxurious mask you’ve been meaning to use or moisturise your neglected and dry skin.

11. Expand your mind

If you don’t have the time or means to watch a TED Talk video, try one of these inspirational, perception-altering podcasts instead. Simply plug in and go.

12. Write a letter

It takes time to compose a well thought out letter, so why not use your 15 minutes of well-deserved rest to pen a note to a loved one. They will be over the moon to receive it, and you never know, you may get one back!

13. Internet shop

The joys of the modern world mean we don’t have to make time to venture into town to get a little retail therapy in. Open up your internet browser and treat yourself to a little something nice.

14. Plan a holiday

What better way to escape a stressful day than imagining where else you could be in the world? Get hold of some holiday magazines, a guide book or travel articles – whatever will help inspire you in planning your next getaway.

15. Indulge in a box of Bites

Turn on the kettle, take your time to brew a perfect steaming cup, settle into that armchair and focus on the melt-in-the-mouth sensations of our brand new Bites. Be swept away with tangy Raspberry flavour or delight in the crunch of our Almond variety. 15 minutes with your favourite box of chocolates is certainly a favourite way to get a little me-time into your day!

Have you got any favourite tips for making the most out of your breaks? Let us know by tweeting us @ESCHOCS or commenting on our Facebook page.