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Take a break!

There’s no end to monotony. The human mind is always looking for renewal. Spend three years in a job, and only a few of us don’t begin to feel edgy. Here’s how to keep going.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 27, 2010 19:27 IST
Supriya Thanawala
Supriya Thanawala
Hindustan Times

ShoppingThere’s no end to monotony. The human mind is always looking for renewal. Spend three years in a job, and only a few of us don’t begin to feel edgy. But how do you manage to keep your mind and spirit as fresh as ever when the need of the hour is to remain patient and not lose hope? Here’s how to keep going.

Take an aimless walk
Exercise and walking – as most doctors will tell you – have always been good for your health, but an aimless walk can make a difference to your state of mind. It gives you the space to think your own aimless thoughts without planning your time. But don’t do this too often, or rather, don’t pencil it into your diary. As Dr Sandeep Vohra, senior consultant psychiatrist, Apollo Hospital, says, “Monotony happens because we get bored easily. If you schedule walks, you might get bored with those as well. So keep switching from one activity to another.”

Go out with friends
Socialising can be a mood lifter. All it takes are some rounds of conversation and laughter to wake you up. If you’ve spent a lot of time alone, you could get gloomy. Having people to listen to and get involved with can change your mood.

Yoga, exercise, spa
Dr Rachana Singh, lifestyle management expert, says exercise helps break monotony by liberating your positive hormones. “I’d suggest that you exercise actively thrice a week actively, and passively thrice a week. Deep breathing for 15 minutes a day can work wonders – it helps settle the mind-body equilibrium and help you relax,” she says.

Dr Nikhil Raheja, head of the National Institute of Psychiatry, stresses the importance of yoga, exercise, relaxation and self-hypnosis. “It’s easy to learn, and can work wonders,” he says. “A good massage at a spa, or a pedicure, can also refresh you,” he adds.

Go shopping
Dr Raheja says that shopping can be a great stress buster. “You don’t always need to buy something big; just small things for the house can feel good. Shifting things around, experimenting with colours, patterns, and a few changes is always refreshing,” he says.

Browse books
Browsing in a bookshop or library can calm you. What’s more, if it’s a place with a good collection, there’s the added pleasure of discovering new titles and ideas to rekindle your soul. Not into books? Try a music shop, check out DVDs, or wander through a hobbies store.

Indulge yourself
Eat, drink, do things that you love. Explore cravings and lusts – and when you’re back to the real world, you’ll feel refreshed.

Watch TV if you don’t often do that, re-read an old favourite, indulge in a little comfort food, or best of all, lie back and listen to music. According to Dr Raheja, music can be a stress-buster and means for renewal.

Try some adventure
Adventure mean many things. From learning something new or going rafting or learning a new art – there’s challenge and there’s thrill. Doing something new also opens up the mind as you stretch your limits.

Dr Singh feels it’s a good idea to indulge in a hobby. “Once or thrice a week is a good idea,” she adds. “Listening to music, identifying one’s interests – these can be really positive,” she says.

Play games
According to Dr Vohra, computer or digital games can be exercise for the mind. “These have been designed in a certain way and help people deal with boredom,” he says. Indoor games all help relieve anxiety and stress.

“Or go bowling, visit amusement parks,” says Dr Raheja. “Solving puzzles like crosswords and sudoku are also mentally challenging.”

Take a weekend trip
Going away to a new beach, or desert, or to a resort – with family or friends, or alone – can be not just a stress buster, but also bring in new, exciting experiences.

Spend time with loved ones
Being with people you’re comfortable with – or the ones you love – can be reassuring and remind you of the good things in life.