On a regular workday, it's easy to feel starved of peace. We crave peace and quiet so much that we'll pay to spend time in a peaceful place. But there are peaceful places everywhere, perfect for quickly recharging and disconnecting from your workday. Here are some places you can go during your break to renew your energy.
Create Or Discover A Walking Route
When I worked a day job in the CBD, I would walk around the block any time between 2PM and 4PM. I wasn't going to pick up coffee or anything, nor was there any particularly beautiful scenery nearby. But when I was sitting all day, the walking and the quiet was almost cathartic. I found that a five- or ten-minute walk would reset my mind and prepare me for another few hours of work.
You can use apps like Wunderwalk (which we previously covered) to create more scenic or functional walking tours. If you're reluctant to take a break during the day just to walk, try incorporating the walk at the beginning or end of your lunch break.
Enjoy Public Parks And Libraries
Swing by a local park near your office. The fresh air and the exposure to nature could be the reset you need to get away from chaos, clear your head, and continue a productive day. Use Google Maps to find parks near your office (e.g., type, "Parks near [your work address]"). If you're working in the suburbs, you might have to take a quick drive to a park in your local neighbourhood. You could also stop by other public spaces like libraries.
If you're looking for silence, get to these places during school hours. Even if you love the outdoors, it's probably best to know where indoor venues are just in case it's rainy outside (or if it's colder than you'd expected).
Wander Through The Shops (But Leave Your Wallet At The Office)
Whether you're in a city or suburb, there's probably a shoppingcentre somewhere near you. You can wander around these areas of commerce to take your mind off things at work. Different people will find different types of stores more relaxing -- for example, I don't particularly enjoy clothing stores, but I do really like bookstores and music stores. Some of my friends are partial to soap stores.
Remember, you're not going to shop. You're just resetting your senses. Don't go with the intention to splurge or to engage in retail therapy. If you find it tempting or distracting, you don't even have to set foot in a store. Hang out by the water fountain or in the food court.
Ideally, you should leave your wallet at the office so you're not tempted to make any purchases. If you're not comfortable with that, or don't trust your colleagues (hey, it happens), leave your wallet in a locker or lock it up in your office's cabinet.
Crash A Hotel Lobby
Visiting a hotel lobby is a more unusual option, but it's doable. Hanging out in hotel lobbies can be liberating, especially if there are a lot of people on vacation. Their excitement can be contagious and bring back good memories. During the day, hotel lobbies are typically free of commotion and noise, and no one will bother you if you're just there for ten minutes.
If you're shameless, hanging out at a hotel lobby doesn't cost a cent. (I wouldn't suggest going every day though.) If you feel guilty about using the space, support them by buying some drinks from the cafe or a newspaper at their store.
Alternatively, you could also hang out at the lobby of a conference centre. It will be a bit busier, but you're less likely to stand out. Keep in mind that hotels might also have conference rooms attached to them, and the cover of other people will make you less visible.
Stretch At The Gym
A few of my former colleagues would take a late lunch and rush off to the gym to squeeze a quick workout into their day. If you have a membership, you could also make a quick trip to the gym and do some stretches (or do them at the office if you're not self-conscious).
If you have a locker there, or if you bring your gym bag to work, you could actually change into your gym clothes and work out. If you don't plan on changing out of your work clothes, you could hang out in a sitting area or near the juice bar if it's not too busy.
Sometimes, nap rooms at the office just don't cut it. Yet breaks and peace are important to healthier, higher energy, workdays. You can find peace almost anywhere. Keep your eyes peeled and get creative.