During the working week, time away from your desk is a rare and precious commodity. We're all guilty of killing time mindlessly trawling the web, but as excellent as cat GIFs may be there's far more exciting things we could be doing on our coffee break.
Make even the shortest of respites count and carve out time in your day for a bit of adventure, whether it's a morning mission or an after-work moment to blow off steam. Take the break you, as a hardworking human being, deserve.
Barangaroo Delivery Authority.
TAKE A WALK ALONG BARANGAROO RESERVE
If you work in the city and are looking to step out and clear your head, go check out Barangaroo Reserve. Starting at Circular Quay, if you keep up a brisk pace you should have time to explore some of the finger wharfs and the foreshore at Barangaroo. Once a concrete slab, the area now boasts tiered lawns sectioned off by 6500 sandstone blocks — and of course a harbour backdrop. If you've got the time, it's a transformation worth checking out. And, from January 7-29, a giant ball pit will be set up at The Cutaway as part of Sydney Festival for you to jump into.
We've all experienced those work days where it feels like you're devoting more energy to keeping your rage at bay than you are to the task at hand. On those days, more than any other, you need to take a break. If you're in dire need of a bit of zen, Centred Meditation offers 30-minute meditation classes in the centre of the city. And if you're struggling to achieve inner calm, don't stress, you can always squeeze in a quick nap before heading back to the office. If it will stop you from having a rage blackout, it's $16 well spent.
GET A MORNING MASSAGE
It may be decadent, but it's hard to think of a better way to break up your morning than with a quick massage. Endota spas are located across Sydney and offer 30-minute massages for around $65. But if you want to achieve peak relaxation in a short amount of time, Nature's Energy's Bath House in Balmain is where it's at. Don't let the unassuming shopfront fool you, hidden out the back is a hot and cold spa, a sauna and a steam room. Only $28 for 30 minutes, you'll be on cloud nine for the rest of the day.
LISTEN TO A PODCAST
Walking the streets of Sydney these days you need to keep your wits about you or risk running into someone blindly trying to catch them all. Along with the added benefit of making it through your break injury-free, listening to a podcast means you can also enjoy your surrounds. Find your nearest park, or better yet a local dog park — pup time and podcasts, the ultimate combo — and simply sit and listen. Our picks are Girls creator Lena Dunham's series Women of the Hour, Dinner Party Download and Conversations with Richard Fidler, a podcast devoted to telling the stories of interesting people, famous or otherwise.
TAKE A GUILT-FREE SNACK BREAK
Anything you eat from Gratia in Surry Hills is by definition guilt-free. Gratia donates 100 percent of their profits to charity — 50 percent to a charity nominated by their customers and 50 percent to a long-standing charity of their choosing. So, when the mid-morning hunger pangs strike — or you're simply looking for an excuse to get away from your desk — do the right thing, don't resist the call of the protein pancakes topped with rhubarb, ginger honey and goats cheese ($16). Once you're fed, head upstairs to Folonomo Gallery, where 100 percent of the profits go to a charity of the exhibiting artist's choosing.