Organisation and Productivity

16 Revitalising Things To Do During A Break In Your Working Day

This sounds silly, but sometimes when I give myself a break during a working day I don’t know what to do with myself. I take breaks because I know it’s a good thing to do, but often I find myself lost for what to do in my breaks, and I just want to get back to work.

Breaks are important because they provide refreshment and help you to focus for longer on your work. Therefore it’s important to take an actual break, rather than just switching to other work or domestic tasks, even if they are easy ones. A short break is not long enough to go for a significant outing, watch a film or meet up with a friend. So what can you actually do in a break?

Whether you are physically at a workplace, working from home or working on your own personal projects, I will be sharing some ideas of things to do during a break in your working day. These things should provide a break from your work whilst helping you to feel refreshed and revitalised.

16 Refreshing Activities To Do During A Break In Your Working Day

16 Revitalising Things To Do During A Break In Your Working Day

1. Have a drink

We are starting with an obvious activity. You probably already associate breaks with putting the kettle on or getting yourself a refreshing drink. If it is not already your habit to get a drink during a break, I recommend making it one. Having regular drinks throughout the day will keep you hydrated and boost your concentration.

2. Have a snack

Snacks can also help your concentration and give you an energy boost. Eating a snack is also an enjoyable way to spend a break! Personally, I choose not to snack between meals unless I really feel I need it, but depending on your eating patterns, having a snack in your breaks may be beneficial for you.

3. Go to the toilet

This is another obvious point, but it’s a good idea to make a habit of going to the toilet during your breaks, even if you don’t desperately need it. It means your next block of work won’t be interrupted by needing the toilet.

A bathroom including a sink and toilet. There is a window that looks out to trees.
Photo by Cameron Smith on Unsplash

4. Exercise

If you have an active job, you’ll probably just want to sit down and rest your legs during a break. However, many of us have sedentary jobs or projects that involve sitting at a desk for a long time. If this is true for you, it’s especially important to take exercise during your breaks. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, but going for a short walk or doing some simple yoga or pilates will get your body moving and provide benefits for circulation and digestion as well as boost your mood and mental health.

5. Stretch

It may not be possible for you to do any exercise during a break, in which case, stretching is a good option. Stretching has health benefits for your joints, muscles and blood flow and it also feels nice and refreshing.

6. Go outside

Getting some fresh air is always a good idea, especially if you spend most of your day indoors. Going outside and spending time in nature is a very refreshing way to spend a break. If your home or workplace has a garden, have a wander around and pay attention to the things growing there.

A woman standing outside, surrounded by trees and plants. The sun is shining, she is looking upwards and smiling.
Photo by Gading Ihsan on Unsplash

7. Observe your surroundings

You probably have decorative items such as plants, art and ornaments in your home or workplace. In most cases, you have these items because you like them, so don’t ignore them. Spend a moment studying a painting or checking out how much your plants have grown. Observing and admiring these things is a pleasurable activity to do during a break and it can help to clear your mind.

8. Play with a pet

If you are working at home and you have a pet, take a moment just to spend time with them. Playing with a pet is a fun, uplifting and relaxing way to spend a break, and of course, it benefits your pet too!

Related post: 7 Amazing Mental Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

9. Read a book or magazine

Reading can be a relaxing activity and a good way to spend a break. I’d recommend a light-hearted novel or a magazine because these are easy to read. You don’t want to be diving into a difficult or technical read or a personal development guide during your break, because that would be more like work rather than a true break. Something light would be just perfect to take your mind away from your work for a while.

10. Message a friend just to chat

I’m fortunate to have a couple of friends I regularly message with random, fun chats and memes throughout the day. In my breaks, I often take a moment to update these friends on anything funny or interesting that’s happened during my day, or even just send a funny GIF. Doing a social activity like this during a break is especially valuable for keeping your mood high if you are working alone.

A close-up of someone's hands while they are texting on a mobile phone.
Photo by Pradamas Gifarry on Unsplash

11. Play a game

Games are obviously designed to be fun, so they are a nice way to spend a break. At the moment, I’m not allowing myself to play games on my phone because I find it too addictive, but it could be an option for you. Alternatively, you can find online board games on Board Game Arena, or even play a game of solitaire with physical cards.

12. Watch a YouTube video

I mentioned earlier that a break is not usually long enough to watch a film or an episode of a show for that matter. However, most YouTube videos are the perfect length to enjoy during a short break. I am subscribed to a few channels that I like, and when I’m in need of a mindless, relaxing activity during a break, I will often choose a video to watch.

13. Listen to music

Very often, I have music playing in the background, sometimes even when I’m working. During a break, it can be nice to actually sit down and listen to a song or a piece of music that you like, rather than just having it on in the background.

14. Do a jigsaw puzzle

It takes a while to complete a jigsaw puzzle, but you can always have one on the go. Sometimes I have a jigsaw puzzle on the go and I like to spend 5 or 10 minutes working on it during my breaks. It’s amazing how quickly your progress will add up, even if you only complete a few pieces each time. Jigsaw puzzles are such a relaxing and satisfying activity, good for taking your mind off your work for a while.

A close-up of a jigsaw puzzle with one piece missing.
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

15. Do puzzles

Puzzles such as crosswords, word searches or sudoku are fun activities to do during a break, and like jigsaw puzzles, they will take your mind off your work so you can go back refreshed.

16. Do nothing at all!

One final way to spend a break is to do absolutely nothing at all! Give yourself permission to just sit or lie down and enjoy the stillness, and watch the world go by. In your daily whirl of activity, It can feel weird to do nothing, and you’ll probably have to resist the impulse to reach for your mobile phone. But try it – you might find it refreshing!

What do you do during a break?

Are you like me in that you struggle to know what to do during a break? If so, I hope this post has provided inspiration for you and will help you make the best use of your breaks and feel well-rested. Do you have any more ideas of things to do during a break in your working day? Please share your ideas in the comments below!

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16 Revitalising Things To Do During A Break In Your Working Day


  1. Jenny Marston says:

    Some good ideas! If I’ve been at my desk or stationary for too long, I might go for a walk. I have a break for lunch and watch YouTube or a series that I’m enjoying. I tend to have a cup of tea break in the afternoon too.

    1. Sophie says:

      Thank you for sharing what you get up to in your breaks! I often watch YouTube while eating lunch too.

  2. These are all fab ideas! I like the stretching idea and especially, I don’t think I’d have time for a full work out, but stretching could definitely work. It’d probably do me some good too!


    1. Sophie says:

      Stretching is definitely a good alternative when you don’t have time for a full work out! X

  3. I feel like in my breaks I do all of these, haha! I love the reminders about doing something nice with our breaks; I most often get a drink and snack and watch a bit of tv or do some reading. It’s good to do something to refresh and relax. Thanks!

    1. Sophie says:

      It’s great that you do a variety of different things in your breaks, haha! Getting a drink and a snack are definitely important, as well as doing something relaxing like reading or watching TV.

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