Break Time

As humans, we make hundreds of choices throughout the day. Drive here. Eat this. Answer that. We choose where to be, when to be there, and what we’re going to do when we get there. Many of us live in this cycle of decisions like we’re running in a hamster wheel.

Taking a break from work is proven to benefit your outcome, as well as your outlook. Like this guy. Be more like this guy.

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Step Away from The Work

Did you know that taking a break from a task is just as important as practicing a task? Tally one for the break-takers, water cooler visitors, and coffee pot fillers.

Stepping away requires your brain to fire differently, allowing it process what you have actively been doing. Our brains compress memories and then replay them in our heads faster than if we were actively conducting the same activity.

So next time you’re practicing that important presentation and desperate to learn it all quickly, step away and do what the NIH calls “wakeful rest”, because your brain continues to practice. In fact, it learns at a faster rate than if you continued to slog through. Nice!

So take a moment. You deserve it. Your brain’s got this.

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The Game of Would You Rather

If you have ever had the chance to mull this game over with children or adults, I assume you found yourself chuckling at the very least as you consider the most absurd against the even more absurd.

I learned of this game a few years ago while road tripping with my aunt, who learned it from her students. She teaches first grade. My expectations were low.

The game begins by somebody either reading from the Would You Rather books (which I dare point out come in Large Print) by author Dan Gilden, or simply making up absurd options, like: Would you rather have knives for fingers or clubs for hands. What?! Yep. That’s the game. Think about it. This is serious. Clearly I’m clubbing it.

To play effectively, each person must weigh the options presented and essentially decide which would be the least offensive to themselves and/or others. The key to the game is to get the other players to explain their answer, revealing fears and preferences you would not have learned otherwise.

While playing the game made for a great road trip, with laughter so hard I needed to snort in order to inhale for life, it also makes a great interview question. The options presented can be real or absurd, but if they’re on-topic, you may find yourself uncovering more than you expected: the true gems of marketing research.

Have you ever asked questions this way? What’s your favorite Would You Rather question?

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Finding Your Funny

I came across this online article from The Atlantic and literally LOL’d myself into a good mood. It’s a great read about the weirdness of human behavior and how we animate ourselves to accommodate new means of communication like Zoom. The author, Faith Hill, is a comical social behaviorist from whom I can’t wait to read more. Please, Faith, do more!

Faith Hill’s article put me in such a good mood, it got me thinking. A dangerous course of action, in some cases, but this time all turns out well.

I googled (can you believe that’s a verb?) what we can do to put ourselves in a good mood and that lead me down a bit of a retail rabbit hole, from which I may never fully recover. A massive amount of email spam is sure to come my way from all the self-help articles I found myself dismissing (yet clicking, damn the click!).

What I discovered beyond all the sponsored content is that mood boosting can come from anywhere and can be anything. It depends on your personal preference, which leads to limitless possibilities. From looking at calming pictures to watching cat videos.

It seems we intuitively know what will boost our mood. The key, as with most beneficial things, is to do it. Take the time and watch the cat videos. Laugh at humans failing at almost everything you can imagine. Put the laughing Chewbacca woman on auto repeat. Boost your mood and you’ll always be happy you did.

So whatever legal behavior makes up your secret sauce to getting through the day, you just keep doing it. Life is short. And life can be hard. So take that break and do what makes you happy for a moment. You just might find yourself smiling. And who doesn’t need more of that.

Please share what you do to boost your mood! The Chewbacca Mask Lady Works. Every. Time.

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Doodle Me Happy

There’s a reason kids like art class: They’re human.

While it may be common knowledge today regarding the positiviely human results of non-verbal communication, but did you know that the act of expressing yourself via art releases endorphins in that human body of yours? Beyond just feeling good, drawing can change the chemistry of your brain.

And the best news, for all of us doodlers, is that there are no rules. Go outside the lines. Use crayons and paint. Throw in some sand. Stick a cork on it. Your creative expressions need not be limited to two dimensions. Hell, go for 5.

No time to make creativity a separate class in your day? Sprinkle it into your life. For some, simply adding a new pen color to your printed calendar can make life feel like a party. Others of us need a little more to keep the work spark going, but however much sugar you want in your coffee, go for it. If work isn’t fun, life isn’t fun, and that’s just unacceptable. Thankfully, there are easy ways to make us better.

Point is, be free. If you’re like me and need to plan your spontaneity, keep a craft drawer full of scissors, glue, paint, and whatever else seems to scream “glue me” so you can be at the ready next time you need to clear the cobwebs. Because when the work wall hits, and hit it will, turn up the music and lift the lid to your personal pandora’s box of fresh ideas.

Doodle on!

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