Stop and smell the flowers


I have two huge lilac trees in my yard.

In fact, they are one reason I bought my house originally. I love love love the smell of lilacs.

One tree is right outside my bedroom window so I get to wake up to the lovely smell. I’ve also pick bunches, mix them with a few sprigs of my lily-of-the-valley and put them in vases in my bedroom, office and dining room.

Yes, I love fresh flowers. They bring me joy, peace and happiness pretty much instantly.

So when the weather is good, I go outside a lot to look at and smell my flowers.

Hey maybe it’s a bit weird and maybe it’s not, but as a super busy lady, I need to take tons of breaks for my mental and physical health.

And guess what? You do too.

I am guessing that you have a pretty busy life too. And sometimes you forget to eat breakfast or lunch or take any break at all.

Whether you work from home, at an office or elsewhere you need to take breaks throughout your day.

Not only does it actually increase your productivity but it also helps to keep your stress levels down and your energy levels up. A short break can be more effective then a cup of coffee if done right.

I like to to take what I call micro-breaks. These are super short 30 second to 2 minute breaks throughout the day. I try to take one micro-break every hour if possible.

If you don’t have time for a longer break, try taking any or all of these breaks. You will be amazed at how awesome you feel afterwards.

1. Get outside. I love to go outside for just a minute and smell my lilacs and other flowers and wander my gardens. I prefer to go barefoot just to feel the grass under my feet. Sometimes I just sit in the sunshine on my deck. I don’t stay long but I soak up as much fresh air and sunshine as I can and take lots of deep cleansing breaths. Ahhh….it brings such a great feeling of peace. If you don’t have a garden, perhaps there is a park nearby or heck even a roof top or deck. However, you do it…just get outside and breath deeply (unless of course there is smog…in that case stay inside).

2. Move your body. If the weather is crappy (or the air isn’t great) and I don’t want to go outside, I have a 30 second dance break or hula hoop break (yes I have a hula hoop in my office). I’ve even done jumping jacks for 30 seconds. I do this when I need an instant energy lift.

Believe me—find your favourite upbeat song and dance for 30 seconds (or more) when no one is watching and you’ll feel amazing. Now if you work someplace where you are hesitant to break out in dance, try going for a brisk walk or doing some stretches. You can also sneak to the bathroom and do some jumping jacks there too. I’m sure you are creative and can figure something out. Move—it does the body (and mind) good.

3. Close your eyes and visualize. If you can’t get away from your desk or work area, just take a minute to completely close your eyes, take some really deep breaths, and visualize yourself in your happy place. It can change for me but usually my mental go to place is the beach. I can totally see myself sitting on the sand watching and hearing the waves, soaking up the sun (not getting burned) and smelling the fresh ocean air. Ahhh Calgon take me away. You don’t have to be in the bath…you can do this right at your desk.

There you have three super quick micro-break ideas.

Maybe you have your own micro-break strategy? If so, I’d love to learn about it. Please share in the comments below.

About the Author

Heather WIlsonHeather E. Wilson is the founder and CEO of The Canadian Coach, a directory and membership platform designed to unite, support and promote Canadian coaches. She's a successful business coach, speaker, author (Your Life According to You!), warrior, change-maker, risk-taker, and adventurer all rolled into one dynamic package.