Take Time for You: 6 Brain Breaks To Maintain Balance and Mental Health at Work

Continuous work mode is detrimental to your physical and mental health. More often than not, workaholics experience burnout faster and harder than their counterparts who take breaks and maximize personal time. Your brain, like a battery, needs time to recharge so you can refocus on important tasks. If you’re interested in reducing your own work-related stress, resetting your mind and finding new motivation in your current projects, consider the following six activities for achieving meaningful rest during your busy week. 

1. Stretch Your Muscles

Even if you love your job, sometimes you can get burned out on the mundanity of your routine. Your body isn’t designed to stay in one position for long periods of time. Take a few opportunities throughout your day to get up, walk around and stretch. Activate your leg muscles with a few lunges, or pull your arms across your body for deep shoulder stretches to loosen your upper back. There are many office stretching apps out there to help you recover quickly from workplace fatigue.

2. Take a Walk

Spending all day in your office leads to brain fatigue and general feelings of unhappiness that can cause anxiety and depression. The remedy for this is simple, but it’s easy to put off or convince yourself there’s not enough time to leave the office. Take a stroll outside and think about something other than work. You won’t be any less productive, and your next genius idea may just pop into your head while you’re at it. 

3. Get Away for the Weekend

Your weekly routine is taxing, but you get through it with the hope of weekend rest. Then, your Saturday and Sunday calendars fill up with yard work, kids’ sports and house chores. You barely have time to sit on the porch with a cup of coffee before your obligations overwhelm you. For an actual break, leave your home and routine behind for a few days. Take your spouse to a charming bed and breakfast in the mountains or check out relaxing weekend cruises to beautiful destinations. Learn a bit about the history and culture of another place. You’ll feel relaxed, re engaged and motivated upon your return to the daily grind.  

4. Meditate

Work-related stress weighs heavy on the mind so it’s important to give your brain a break from time to time. Using mindfulness and meditation techniques before, during or after work gives you the opportunity to check-in with yourself for a few minutes. Find a quiet corner and practice deep breathing. Whether you prefer complete solitude or use a guided breathing exercises app from Breathwrk.com, you can focus on your body and let your mind go silent. Give yourself the opportunity for rest, self-awareness and recovery from mental fatigue. 

5. Read for Pleasure

There’s no better form of escapism than a good book. Plus, you don’t even need to leave your desk. When you have a few minutes for a break or during your lunch hour, pull out your latest literary obsession and dive right in. Be sure to set yourself an alarm though, or you might be too far gone to remember to clock back in. 

6. Pick Up an Art Project

Hobbies are a great way to escape daily pressure. Especially if your occupation doesn’t give you many opportunities for creativity, an art project can be the perfect occasion to engage a different portion of your brain. Take up drawing, painting, digital art and design or enroll in an online course that you can do in your spare time. You’ll feel accomplished when you create tangible works you can proudly display, but most importantly, you’ll have an outlet for those times you feel frustrated or stressed. 

Whether you work from home or the office, you should consider the pressure your job puts on your mind and body. You can still be a rockstar performer in your company while maintaining work-life balance and minding your mental health.