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How To Take a Mental Health Break During the Work Day



May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and over the next few weeks, we are focusing on how to improve mental wellness in the workspace. Most people would report feeling extremely overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated, or other strong emotions at points during the workday. Whether this is due to tasks, coworkers, or things happening outside of the office, we are not immune to real feelings from 9-5.  

When things become too much at work, here is how you can take a mental health break. 

1. Do Something for Yourself 

Set work aside and do something for yourself during a mental health break. We often conflate self-care with fancy spa treatments, detailed planned out days, or expensive products. But self-care, at its core, is about doing something that will bring you joy or help to restore an essential part of who you are. Mental health breaks can be used for going to therapy or a doctor’s appointment. Or, take a moment to relax in the lounge area of your workspace. It can be a quick 30 min nap in your private office suite, running errands, or treating yourself to a nice lunch out. Doing something for ourselves means something different to everyone! 

2. Shut Off Your Brain 


With smartphones, we are never far from our work. It can be second nature to unlock your phone and open your email app, even if you are just running downstairs for a coffee. If you need a mental health break, leave the phone behind. Shut off your brain to work by taking a walk, meeting with a friend, doing a workout class, or reading a book. If you can’t part with the phone, set boundaries within your technology. Delete mail apps or set notifications so that only certain people can reach you. Put up a “do not disturb” calendar block so people will think twice before contacting you. While technology can be the source of many problems, it can also help us take better breaks. 

3. Embrace Flexibility 

Is your schedule flexible? Don’t hold yourself to rigid requirements or standards, then! Some work can wait. If you are feeling in need of a mental health break, reschedule a meeting, switch a phone call to email, or rearrange your day to provide adequate time to recharge. Although separation of work and personal life is essential, sometimes it is worth finishing up a task at home to have a time block to collect yourself and relax at the office.

4. Take Time Off 


Short breaks during the day can only do so much at a certain point. Time off doesn’t just have to be for vacation or other obligations. Take a day (or more) just for yourself. Relax. Do nothing. Or, catch up on tasks that fall by the wayside on weekends. Cross those “life admin” items off of your list. Visit with a friend who you can never seem to coordinate schedules with. We are not made to work without breaks. Recognizing when you need a bit more time is important. 

This Mental Health Awareness month, focus on being your healthiest self at work. Prioritize putting yourself in situations where you can create a positive environment and take breaks. At AdvantEdge Workspaces, our spaces are set up to encourage balance. Spend time outside on the roof, enjoy your private office area, get moving in the workout room, unwind with coffee or tea in the lounge, or even spend 10 minutes in a massage chair. No matter how you take a break, AdvantEdge is here to support you! 

Wellness @ AdvantEdge 

Written by Juliana Levinson

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