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Is it time to take a break?

In effort to finish projects, meet deadlines, or get ahead of the ever-growing to do list, many employees are no longer taking regular breaks. Despite most of us knowing that breaks are vital for work productivity and performance, taking them continues to be a struggle in most workplaces. This in turn can have a negative impact on our wellbeing and stress levels. To improve your wellbeing at work, and perhaps that of your co-workers, why not have a go at making your break a healthy one?

Calming Breaks
If you are feeling agitated by work, your environment, or a certain co-worker, consider making your break a calming one:

– find somewhere quiet. Sit for a while, focus on your breathing and calm your mind,
– spend some time tidying up. Clear the stress away from your work area, this might be your desk or your vehicle. You could also clean the communal work space such as the break room or kitchen to remove yourself from a stressful or frustrating situation,
– have a chat, trade funny jokes, or personal stories with a co-worker,
– treat yourself to a healthy meal or snack from a café nearby,
– call a friend and catch up on each other’s lives.

Energising Breaks
Completing the same task over and over, or sitting all day can be exhausting for your body and your mind. Re-energise in your lunch-break or with a quick escape from your work environment:

– take the ‘long-way’ whenever you can, walk around your worksite for 10 minutes to get your blood pumping!
– start recording your steps and water intake. Aim to achieve a personal goal every day,
– search online for ways to stretch at work and try some of them,
– bring a handball or frisbee and have some fun with a co-worker,
– genuinely compliment a colleague. You might both go away feeling energised.

Relaxing Breaks
For many of us, work is a source of stress which impacts our wellbeing. Breaks should offer a time for relaxing. Instead of eating on the go, choose to rest during your break:

– watch something funny on YouTube, check your social media, or let yourself be distracted online
– go outside and walk around. Perhaps bring a friend for a walk to get a coffee,
– set up a game table. You could invest in board games, card games, or even a pingpong/foosball table,
– practice mindful breathing or do yoga,
– take a 15-minute break to sketch or colour in.

Work can get the better of all us at times. Look after your health and wellbeing by taking breaks when and how you need. You’ll be amazed at the results!

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