Taking regular and meaningful breaks from your work is essential to stay alert and not burn out. However, a common excuse for not taking a break is that there’s simply no time in a busy schedule to take a truly refreshing breather. The solution is to find simple and easy-to-access resources to give yourself quick but effective sessions to de-stress, whether at the office or wherever you do your work.
These are some of the best websites and mobile apps for doing just that, all of them free or very affordable. So, no more excuses. Start giving yourself healthy breaks to recharge and stop hitting a wall with your daily grind.
The name of this website says it all. Upon landing on its homepage, you’ll be asked to choose a length of time, whether you want music, and if you’d prefer a soothing voice-over to guide you on your journey to relaxation. Whether you have two minutes or 10, this site will help you find inner peace in no time.
For the most variety in experience customization, Soundrown definitely wins. This site has many sounds to choose from and, perhaps best of all, the ability to overlap them. So if you want to listen to birds chirping by a fountain, you can. If for whatever reason, the sound of a train running through a crackling fire is your cup of tea, you can do that too.
Silk is “interactive generative art,” which means you get to make pretty glowy art with squiggles. Your mouse is your digital paintbrush and you have several settings to customize the color of your strokes (you can see in this screenshot I took that I have green and blue mixed together). Oh, and every line or blob you make is mirrored, and you have a few options for patterns from the simple two-fold all the way up to six symmetrical folds. It’s incredibly relaxing to move your cursor around and watch as brightly-coloured waves and ribbons spill out into pretty patterns. It doesn’t require a lot of set-up, so you can fit in a zen “drawing” break when you need to.
Space is something else I find very peaceful, and, if you do too, Earthlapse is an amazing app to relieve stress. The app plays relaxing new-age music while real-time-lapse photography taken by NASA over the Earth rolls across your screen. The screenshot above is just one view; there are unobstructed views as well, and you have the choice of whether you want a clock and other info on the screen or nothing. When you’re having an especially nasty day at work, just look down on the Earth from miles above and revel in the insignificance of your troubles, if only for a moment.