Five Amazing Breaks (That Don’t Involve Food)

I am so very thankful that I never lost power during the storm. The lights flickered once, but I’m pretty sure it had more to do with the person above me’s dishwasher than the wind! With over 20% of the city without power, I know that I’m super lucky. Being able to take showers in my own shower, charge my phone whenever I want, and use my own coffeemaker is seriously a luxury in Manhattan right now.
The Levo League office, however, is without electricity. We’ve all been working from home (or wherever people ended up staying) and communicating via conference calls, Skype, and email. Naturally, however, I have gotten incredibly bored. Sitting at my desk for a million hours alone is not all that fun.
(Luckily, I’ve taken in a refugee and we’ve been going on frequent walks!)
Anyway… I realized that as I was getting bored or just simply drained from a task, I would take a break. And all of my breaks were revolving around food. And all the food I was craving was not exactly healthy. Seriously, I’ve eaten so many Skittles, Starbursts, chocolate covered pretzels, crackers, grilled cheese sandwiches, bowls of coffee ice cream, cups of coffee in general, Fig Newtons, batches of popcorn, and noodles. It’s pretty gross.
I realized I needed to come up with a better break. And one where I was actually not working. Because I’d walk to the kitchen, grab the snack, walk back to my desk, and inevitably continue working while eating whatever snack I chose. That really doesn’t even count as a break!
Anyway, I figured I wasn’t the only one with this problem!
I came up with Five Amazing Breaks (that don’t involve food):
1) Give yourself a manicure | This one seems to end up on all of my “five lists.” But… it’s the perfect mini-task. Mindless, without being mindnumbing. You get something out of it (i.e. pretty nails). You have to be patient (while they dry). And it definitely won’t take more than twenty minutes. The perfect little break! (Plus, try eating a bag of chips with wet nails…. nope!)
2) Work on a logic puzzle | This, as I mentioned earlier this week, has been my go-to. Nerdy? Yes. But it’s a great little challenge. This is ideal when you’re in the middle of a big project but need to take a breather. It keeps your mind active, but allows you some space from whatever it is you’re working on. My only suggestion is to not do more than one!!! I get totally addicted to these things and I’m tempted to do three…. or four…. at once.
3) Take a walk | Sometimes you really do need a little bit of exercise, especially if you’ve been sitting at your desk all day. However, changing into workout gear, having to worry about sweating and showering, and the inevitable “doing of the hair” is too much! A simple walk, in your regular clothes (maybe a quick change into flats though) will suffice! Take the stairs out of your building and walk a couple of laps around the neighborhood. Try to avoid lunchtime rush hour though!
4) Clean out the junk drawer (finally) | How often do you put off cleaning that one drawer that always seems to be filled with random things? (Come on, admit it… we all have at least one of those drawers!) I actually think junk drawers serve a great purpose as a sort of “limbo” when you’re not quite ready to throw something away and when you are sure you don’t need it. Do one quick run through throwing out anything that’s definitely trash. File away important receipts, business cards, and correspondance. Move things to their proper homes. And, finally, organize what’s left in the drawer. 
5 Read one chapter of a page turner | BUT ONLY ONE. Do not get sucked in by the characters and the plot and the OH! cliffhanger. Stay strong. Use this as the ultimate motivational non-food reward.
Bonus!!! Two things you should definitely avoid? Napping and online shopping.
What are your strategy for not eating junk food during breaks?
PS It’s definitely a good idea to break for lunch. I have to set an alarm or reminder every day because I have been known to look up at the clock at 8pm and realize I haven’t eaten lunch!

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Paige Ladisic

I love organizing a drawer or painting my nails when I need to relax — but the real star of this post is that ADORABLE doggie in your instagram picture! So precious!


Doing my nails is favorite break activity of mine too. I also love turning up my pandora and folding my laundry. I love it because it keeps me from feeling like I'm wasting my time (and keeps me from the temptation of napping and online shopping), but it's also a completely mindless task that lets me dance around my room and stretch my limbs a little.


Great post, Carly!
I always find myself running around and working or even worse being bored… 😀 Love your tips! One of my favorite things to do is of coarse the mani-break! A new manicure makes me feel like i can conquer the world 🙂 I also started going to a near animal shelter once or twice a week to walk with some of there dogs! I'll get some fresh air, can play with the cutest dogs and they don't have to sit in the shelter all day long!!

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Aah, the dog is so cute. 😀

This post is just what I needed! I always find that my study breaks include cookies and Halloween candy. It's so horrible. I just sit in bed and read blogs/watch vlogs and eat leftover Halloween candy/food. Urgh.


Great suggestions! I'm glad to hear that you are safe and still have power!

During finals week my roommates and I have always been VERY bad about food breaks in between studying. We were also stuck inside during the storm and my work breaks involved baking and cooking.


I just finished reading The Age of Miracles! So with you on the not getting sucked in, though…I read during my lunch break while I eat, and it's definitely a battle not to slow down my meal so I have an excuse to read just a little more!


Great ideas and especially the manicure. By the way, I took your suggestion and purchased Essie nail polish in Head Mistress. It's the perfect shade of red for me 🙂


Some great break ideas. I like taking mini craft breaks to work a few rows on a project (like knitting or crochet) or color/draw a small picture. They help switch on my creative brain and give my left brain a break.

Claire Peucker

Who is your little friend? He's adorable 🙂

Thanks for these tips. I'm like you in that I fall into the trap of taking a food break too often, sometimes when I'm not even hungry.


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