I know what you must be thinking, but this is not a joke. Once in a while, taking a break from the pressing obligations of everyday life by doing something mindless can be quite beneficial. According to womenshealthmag.com, “distracting yourself with a mindless activity will help you to feel more inspired, as well as improve your problem-solving skills, according to research published in the journal Psychological Science.” Need a few ideas to help get you started? You will be surprised to find that many mindless activities are actually quite productive. Consider the following:
1. Do your laundry or wash the dishes. Both of these often dreaded chores can be enjoyable if you revel in the time you are afforded to simply daydream or meditate as you work.
2. Knit for a cause. There are a plethora of charitable organizations that collect knit items and donate them to the troops, the homeless, and to chemo/radiation patients.
3. Engage in aerobic activity. A brisk walk or a jog can boost your mood and improve your cardiovascular health.
4. Fingerpaint! Remember when you were in elementary school and painting was fun because there was greater focus on the process rather than the product? Strive to revive that inner child; you do not need to be the next Picasso!
5. Clean and de-clutter your desk. Consider taking a few minutes each day to organize your desk. Not only will you be afforded a great study break, but you will also eliminate the need to spend hours trying to sort things out at the end of the semester.
6. Practice typing. Take a study break by improving your typing speed and accuracy on websites like freetypinggame.net. This is not a 1970s-era IBM Selectric typewriter.
7. Listen to music. Create a playlist of songs that make you to feel happy, inspired, and relaxed. Listen to a few of them at a time whenever you feel the need to take a break from your main task at hand.
8. Volunteer at a community garden. Maintaining a garden can help to relieve stress. Petunias, tomatoes, green peppers? Furthermore, you will be proud when you see that the seedlings you planted are in full bloom.
9. Take a nap. Many may warn against this, but a short 30-minute nap during the day can help you to feel more energized, especially if you did not get much sleep the night before.
10. Freewrite! Grab a pen and write continuously for a set amount of time. Do not pay heed to the grammar, punctuation, or content. This simple exercise can help you to de-clutter your mind and (even overcome that dreaded end-of-semester writer’s block)!