Working my Work Break

In which I present some ideas for a fifteen minute work break (#75), which I find I’m in desperate need of.

Yesterday, I spent my day fighting against ego and stupidity at work. The ego won a resounding and depressing victory, and while the jury is still out on the stupidity, I’m not holding my breath. My work life took a distinct down-turn about a month ago, partly resulting in me being a base for someone’s weekly ego trip. Sigh. Yesterday was the worst yet, and I spent a while crying over it last night. In fact, the thought that I had to go into my office and deal with the aftermath of yesterday was enough to make me well up this morning.

I’m pissed. Hurt. Extremely frustrated and disappointed in someone who should have backed me up and hasn’t. In short, I’m not feeling like a confident adult who’s been frankly excelling at my job for over five years. I feel like a slighted kid who keeps coming back to the fact that it just isn’t FAIR.

It isn’t fair. But I’ve done what I can up my relevant chains of command, and I haven’t been able to affect any of the outcomes I was fighting against. I need to turn my attention to keeping my sanity and balance. The work politics are clearly out of my control, but I can control how I react to them. So today I’m telling myself that even though this is the most ridiculous ego trip I’ve ever seen, I’ve lived through ego trips before. And I have lived through this very stupidity several times before. I’m enjoying that I rarely have to sit across a table from these people so that I can roll my eyes and curse as much as I want while I’m on the phone (muted) in these meetings. And I’m going to start walking away when I need to for a fifteen minute work break.

Here’s a few ideas that I’m hoping will help me get used to this new balance of duties and forced humility in the face of condescension and complete ineptitude.

Yoga Break
I’ve taken advantage of my clean office floor to pull out one of my yoga mats. I created a fifteen minute long playlist of very calming instrumental music that I’m hoping will help me focus on my breathing. My plan is to spend that time thinking about anything but work or home to-dos. Each time work slips in, I’m going to deliberately turn my thoughts to something else.

Sing-Along Break

I think that I won’t be able to think about work while I’m singing, loudly and poorly, to some music. I’ll get up and move around my office, stretching out if I need it, trying to bounce or jump. (Who can be upset in the middle of bouncing or jumping?) I’ll try to pick some songs that might cheer me up, but I’m not going to shy away from fun and angry ones if that feels like it fits the best.
I’ve put together a playlist of examples on 8tracks.com. I can’t embed it on the blog, but if you click the mixed tape to the left, you can sing along too.
Tea Break
I am a frequent tea drinker. I’m almost always up for another cup, so this makes creating a slight ritual for tea brewing a perfect choice for a work break. I’ll take my mug downstairs to the kitchen and heat up some water in the electric kettle. I’ll get the tea bag and sweetener in while I wait for the water to heat. Once I get the water in, I’ll try to drizzle the honey on the edge of the tea bag, because it looks cool when it melts away into the tea. (Small pleasures, and whatnot.) And then I’m going to stand on my nice cushy mat in the kitchen and watch my tea steep. I had been walking back upstairs with the tea bag still in my cup, where it often sits until the tea is pretty cool because I get caught up in the bustle of work.
Project Break
I enjoyed spending some time working on my family tree during some lengthy, boring meetings. I would like to always have a project that doesn’t need any more attention than doodling would. Maybe I’ll make another ribbon wreath to replace my lovely Halloween version in November. I just need something that will force me to make some repetitive motions, but will also have a result in the end so that I don’t feel like I’m wasting my days.
Just Plain Break
And when nothing else appeals, I can always go take a walk to our mailbox. Soon I’ll be able to mess around with our fire. Maybe I’ll just walk away and tackle a chore so that things don’t fall apart around the house. Anything to remind myself about everything else I’ve got going on and keep work stress in perspective.
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3 thoughts on “Working my Work Break

  1. Ugh, sorry about the work situation, but I love the plan you’ve got going here. I think the multiple, different types of breaks are a great idea. Because sometimes one break just won’t’ do, depending on your mood, the situation, or the fact that you just took a different type of break (ha!). Good luck!

  2. Oh work crap… I too am sorry about whatever you’ve been dealing with. I totally envy you’re ability to do these work breaks and hope they do good things for you. I sent this to Amal because I know she’ll need some ideas soon enough.

    And jump dancing is the best!

    Maybe you should put wine break in there 🙂 Hope things get better!

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