As we modern working types are all too aware of, burnout is a scarily common experience. We're working too hard, for too long and if we're not careful, the drive to hustle can impact our health.
It's the reason so many of us are drawn to the mindfulness movement. Between meditation, breathwork, exercise and the odd colouring book or two, there exists a long list of ways we can give our brains a break from all the noise. But have you considered using LEGO before?
Often considered a cute pastime for families hoping to keep children occupied, LEGO actually has a tone of qualities that are beneficial to stressed-out adults in need of a break.
And if you're familiar with their range of products, you'll be aware that there is most certainly an option available to suit every single person's preferences. The new LEGO Botanical Collection, however, has been designed with the intention of relaxation in mind.
Here's how it all works.
Sean Hall, Founder of Energx and mindfulness expert explained to Lifehacker over email that "Two of the prime warning signs of burnout are 'brain fog' and getting stressed at the small stuff. LEGO helps with both." © Provided by Lifehacker AustraliaImage supplied
Take a micro-break
He shared that when your mind is overloaded, and can't focus, it can be useful to incorporate "10-minute micro-breaks into your day". Hall shared that this is particularly useful when you're struggling through the creative process or attempting to solve a problem.
"...completing a few steps in the instructions of a LEGO set can help light up the parts of your brain responsible for divergent thinking," he shared.
"Neuroscientists and positive psychologists are also fans of any activity which gets us out of our heads and into our hands and senses. In this context, LEGO can be a great disruptor to worry and negative mind wandering," Hall went on to say.
It may seem counterintuitive, but "one of the antidotes to stress is play," said Hall. And according to research from LEGO, 8 in 10 adults who took a moment to build something with the bricks felt less stressed as a result.
LEGO Botanicals are literally designed for calm
"At its essence, mindfulness is about being present and in the moment," Hall continued.
"By their very nature, LEGO sets help us to do this by following the instructions and interacting with the bricks."
While this is true of all LEGO varieties, the Bonsai Tree and Flower Bouquet in the new Botanical Collection (which are currently sold out online, I'm afraid) are particularly effective because of "the subject matter also being something we naturally associate with relaxation."
Seems like a great excuse to build something beautiful, doesn't it? Check out the full LEGO range here.
If you'd like more mindfulness tips, here are 10 options Hall shared that can be easily incorporated into our everyday routine.
- Take one mindful breath.?
"Choose one meal a day where you slow down for just a couple of minutes and focus on the sensory aspects of the food."
Have a side by side conversation
"It's amazing how much more open we can be when we're sitting side by side vs face to face."
"Being in the presence of nature is instantly calming for us."
- Close your eyes
Give yourself credit
"At least once a week pause for a few minutes to reflect."
If you'd like some more guidance on mindfulness, check out this breathing exercise that should help with symptoms of anxiety.