Tips for Taking a Mental Break at Work

Everyone deals with stress when it comes to working. And aside from affecting our productivity at work, it can also impact our overall health and wellbeing negatively. This can include heavy workloads, bad relationships at work, and even lengthy commutes. Yes, stress is bad. However, coping with it can be daunting. But did you know that dealing with stress from work is easier to do in small ways? It’s because creating small good habits can lead to a big positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing. 

If you have been stressed and anxious at work lately, you might need to take a mental break occasionally to refresh your mind. To help you, here are some tips we can recommend for taking a mental break at work. 

Do Not Eat Lunch on Your Work Desk

During your lunch break, one of the things you can do is step away from your desk. It is better to eat your lunch in the break room or office cafeteria. This way, you can unplug from your work for a while. It will help you avoid the temptation to check your email. During lunchtime, take the time for yourself. You can read a book or socialize with your officemates. This is a small step that you can take, but it can surely help in boosting your energy levels. It will also enable you to de-stress, even for just an hour. 

Go for a Short Walk

During your break, you can also get some fresh air and go for a walk. Walking outside has a lot of benefits for mental health. According to a study done in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, people who walked during their break from work three times a week felt better. In fact, walking for just 30 minutes can make you feel less tense, more enthusiastic, and more relaxed. This can help you better cope with your workload and be more productive. 

There’s also another study that showed people who took walks during their breaks had decreased levels of stress and fatigue towards the end of the day. It also helped them concentrate better compared to the days when they just took regular lunch breaks. This is because walking allows your brain to recover from cognitive overload after focusing intensely on your work. It helps the mind to reset and relax. 

Get Out in Nature

It is also great if you can take your daily break out in nature. If you work in the city, you can simply head to the nearest park or green space during your break time. Aside from admiring the beauty of the place, this can also help you relax and decrease stress and anxiety. Based on research, natural areas can have positive impacts on mental health. In fact, a study has found that people who walked for about 90 minutes in a natural area have shown a decreased activity in a region of their brains that is linked with depression. 

Do Some Meditation and Breathe

Meditation is a popular activity to reduce stress. Aside from that, it is also a powerful tool against anxiety. This means that meditation can also help you in improving your mental health at work. A lot of people who meditate during their break at work say it restores their energy, and it helps them to focus on their tasks when they get back to work. Aside from meditation, simply finding a quiet spot to do some breathing exercises can help your mind to take a break. Breathing exercises can help in slowing down your heart rate, which has an immediate effect on anxiety. 

Try Art Therapy

Art therapy can also be helpful if you want to destress from work. Based on a study done at Drexel University, doing some creative activity for just 45 minutes can lessen stress, regardless of the person’s artistic experience or talent. Well, you cannot really attend art therapy during your break at work, but there are other helpful ways you can try. 

For example, you can take a short break at work to do some coloring. It has the potential to reduce anxiety and increase mindfulness. This is also the reason why adult coloring books have become popular these days. Or if making art is not your thing, you can just simply look at some artwork. For example, you can try to visit an art gallery during your break if there’s one near your office. This can help you feel less stressed before going back to work. 

Leave Work on Time

Always remember that work-life balance is very important, no matter how cliché it may sound. Creating boundaries between your job and your life outside of work can make a big difference when it comes to your mental health well-being. Yes, there are times that you need to put in extra time at work to meet urgent deadlines. But most of the time, try to give yourself a chance to maintain relationships and engage in activities that you enjoy. 

Try to leave work on time to allow yourself to bond more with your family.  Aside from that, leaving work on time can also help you prevent feeling exhausted and more motivated to come to work the next day. 

These are some of the best tips we can give on taking a mental break at work. Always remember that your mental health and wellbeing are important. We hope you’ll be able to see big benefits in the future with these small steps that we shared.