Tag Archives: Stress Management

Ten Ways to Play Coffee-Break Hooky

Articles offering answers to workplace stress abound. These ideas usually involve yoga, meditation and/or unemployment.

Or possibly homicide. Especially when the sun shines while you remain chained to your computer — next to a gum-popping coworker’s day-long phone conversations with her boyfriend.

I suggest a different approach.

Decades ago, summer was spelled R-E-L-A-X. We children simmered in blissful boredom. Brief exercises can simulate that past. They cost little or nothing and require equipment available in most neighborhoods.

Ready to change your life?

  1. Slam a screen door. Again. Someone will yell at you — especially if you do not own it. Fond memories of Mom’s tender threats will surface: “If you kids slam that door one more time, I’m sending you to the principal’s house!”
  2. popsicleInstead of an overpriced iced latte, buy a Popsicle. Eat another. Let them dribble down your chin so that at a key afternoon meeting, your tie-dyed clothing indicates you think young.
  3. Observe an anthill. Note how one teeny creature tugs a hot dog a hundred times its size down its hole. You will conclude that your corporate life is a picnic.
  4. Remove shoes and socks or ditch control-top pantyhose. Wiggle your toes in nice, cool dirt. For greater enjoyment, mix mud pies. I do not recommend, however, that you bake them in the company microwave.
  5. Locate a full clothesline and bury your nose in freshly dried laundry. Invite a stray to play “yank the shirt.” Set new cardio records when the laundry’s owner seeks your head in a clothes basket.
  6. Lie under an unoccupied tree and count leaves. Ponder why God likes the color green. And why He invited chiggers and mosquitoes aboard the Ark.
  7. Jump into a car with other stressed coworkers, roll down the windows and play a Beach Boys song at break-the-sound-barrier levels. Hang outside and yell at the opposite sex as you screech tires throughout downtown. This is good for an extended coffee break, especially if Dad refuses to post bail.
  8. Sing “Jesus Loves Me,” glue sticks from the aforementioned Popsicles and drink cherry Kool-Aid. Presto! You’re back in Vacation Bible School.
  9. Chase grasshoppers through their favorite habitat: Queen Anne’s lace and bachelor’s buttons near railroad tracks. The resulting exercise will supply fresh oxygen to the brain and sharpen your intelligence — no matter what passing motorists say.
  10. Write a column about playing hooky during coffee breaks. Try each activity to make sure it works. When family/coworkers/boss question your sanity, inform them you are doing important literary research.

cat_hammockThen sit in the sun under an achingly blue sky. Eat another Popsicle. And …

R-E-L-A-X.

What’s your go-to hooky strategy?