Blog: Take a mental break – your mind, body and soul will thank you

Blog: Take a mental break – your mind, body and soul will thank you

A 10-hour work day; getting to the gym; taking the kids to soccer practice; cousin Kate’s wedding this weekend; what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner? This thing called life can be stressful and busy.

But as life gets busier, it’s even more important to take time for yourself and give your mind a break.

Taking breaks is vital to overall health. Continued strain on your brain can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue and mental exhaustion.

Did you know? Nearly 80 percent of U.S. employees don’t even take a lunch break.

Yet studies show that taking regular breaks of even one and a half minutes can increase productivity by more than six percent, while breaks of two minutes can increase productivity by 11.5 percent.

So what type of activities should you do to give your mind a rest?

Some activities to try include:

  • Get outside and take a short walk.
  • Read a book, even if it’s for 10 minutes a day.
  • Stretch – try some yoga moves – I love finding quick stretch routines on Pinterest.
  • Doodle or color – Adult coloring books are all the rage – Keep one nearby, even in your desk at work.
  • Take a nap. Who says napping is for college students? Even 10-20 minutes will do.
  • Put on your headphones and listen to one or two of your favorite songs.
  • Talk to a friend/coworker. Step away from your desk to chat about non-work related things with someone.
  • Try meditation – the ultimate relaxation technique.
  • Observe nature – take a look out the window at your office or take a walk in the local forest preserve.

Taking just a few minutes out of your day to give your mind some relief can result in a more productive day and an even healthier life.

What do you do to give your mind a break during the day?

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About the Author

Jennifer Zerfowski, LCSW
Jennifer Zerfowski, LCSW

Jennifer Zerfowski is a licensed clinical social worker at Advocate Medical Group in Normal, Ill.