Mental health breaks to take at work

There’s no doubt that a work environment is a complex setting. It’s a group of individuals with different personalities and diverse work methods coming together to accomplish complex job tasks. It’s no surprise that combination can result in some stressful times. When you feel yourself starting to lose interest in a project or if you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider these strategies to help you refocus.

Ask for help

Like many office workers, you’re probably pushing yourself to be as productive as you can every day. Sometimes, that means you’re trying to do too much at once. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Simply talking through a project with a co-worker or your boss can help you prioritize your tasks and move forward with ease.

Focus on your breathing

Working on a complex or stressful project can leave you feeling drained pretty quickly. One way to restore some of that energy is to pause and focus on your breathing. It can be done practically anywhere at any time.

  • Take a deep breath and exhale through your mouth.
  • As you take another breath, focus your attention to the place in your body where you feel your breathing the most.
  • Use that place as an anchor point and allow yourself to just breathe for a few minutes.

Find a pleasant visual

Keep a favorite photo or piece of artwork in your workspace that evokes happy memories. When you’re feeling stressed, take a few minutes to look at it and allow yourself to feel the happiness associated with it. Doing this can allow you to return to your work in a better mood.

Take a walk

In some instances, you might just need to get away from your workspace. Taking a walk can ease your stress and improve your mood – both of which can make you a more productive employee. Try to spend 30 minutes a day walking, even if that means you need to break it up into 15-minute sessions. You might be surprised at how a regular walking routine can help ease tensions in your job and give you a boost of energy to help you get through your day.

Ask about an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

If every day stresses are starting to have a serious impact on your work life, you may benefit from the resources an EAP offers. An EAP is a free and confidential service that offers assistance to employees facing a variety of mental and emotional well-being issues. Check with your human resources department to see if your company offers an EAP to its employees. Some examples of things an EAP can assist you with include:

  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Legal worries
  • Health concerns

Sources: Mayo Clinic,  PsychCentral.com, USNews

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