Now more than ever, you need to make your mental health a priority. There have been a lot of big changes in your life over the past year – COVID, job uncertainty, health concerns, remote work, online school for kids, and more. All of these factors can weigh on your mental health. It is a difficult balancing act we’ve had to take on. Prioritizing your mental health needs to be paramount. One way you can create better balance is to adapt your workday.
Here are some strategies to adjust your workday to give yourself the mental breaks you need to reduce stress and anxiety:
take a mental health day
Self-care is of the utmost importance. If you are feeling over-stressed and burned out, taking a mental health day is advisable. Taking a day can help you get the break you need. Use the day to regroup, refocus, and come back to work energized. You can plan the day in advance if you notice you are feeling more stressed or worn down.
take your breaks away from your workspace
While you may think taking a “working break” or “working lunch” will help you get more accomplished, you are not giving your mind the break it needs to recharge during the day. Plan your breaks and lunchtime. Use this time to get away from your workspace and focus on things other than work. This has become even more challenging for remote workers. It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate work from home life.
take a walk
Taking a quick walk on your lunch break can help you quickly destress, get some fresh air and get your body moving. It’s an effective way to get away from your workspace and break up the day.
connect with your coworkers
If you are feeling stressed, one of the best things you can do is to talk with others. Your coworkers will understand the challenges you face. They, themselves, may be experiencing the same challenges. Talking with them can help you destress and discuss ways to overcome the workplace stresses of the day. It can be cathartic. It can help you know you are not alone. Consider booking regular coffee breaks to discuss the stresses of the day.
Planning an exercise session in the middle of the day can be the ultimate stress reliever. It can completely take your mind off work, help you break out of those bad posture habits, stretch and get your body moving. Choose a type of exercise you enjoy, so it gives you something to look forward to doing. Even 15-20 minutes each day can make a big difference mentally and physically.
The ability to clear your mind is one of the most effective ways to destress. Meditation is an effective strategy to calm your mind and block out the noise. The beauty of meditation is you can do it in short intervals throughout the day. Or you can set aside a larger block of time to do it daily. Find what works for you.
Make your mental health a priority. How you plan your workday is a good starting point. Build in time to destress and recharge throughout the day.