Skip to main content

Taking Breaks

woman relaxing with raised feet on porch

Zoom fatigue. Eye strain. Body aches. Working remotely can create challenges for your body and mind. We get tired, stiff, stressed and can feel burned-out. Finding time to take breaks throughout the day can help alleviate stress, improve your mood and boost work performance.

Effective and beneficial breaks

The most effective breaks are dependent on what works best for you. The type of break you take can change depending on the type of work you are doing, who you are working with or even the change in seasons. Taking breaks is a learned behavior. Building positive habits requires repetition. By taking effective breaks, it can help you look forward to returning to your work just as much as you look forward to your breaks.

Make the most of your breaks

There are breaks that contribute to healthy behavior and those that are less beneficial. Smoking, eating junk food or taking breaks that turn off your brain are not recommended. Instead of watching television, find a break that turns on your brain but takes you away from the work you were doing. Take a break that stimulates your brain and your body.

Beneficial break ideas:

  • Taking a 10-minute walk and getting physical activity has wonderful benefits for your body and your mood.
  • Working a crossword or solving a puzzle are both great ways to keep your brain working.
  • Choosing a short task, like cleaning or organizing, also can create a sense of accomplishment which stimulates your brain in different ways.
  • Taking a short nap, 10 to 20 minutes, can boost memory and attention span.
  • Every 20 minutes look at least 20 feet away for 20 minutes to reduce eye fatigue.
  • Breathe. For two minutes just sit quietly and listen to your breath. Mindful breathing practices can decrease stress, improve mood and mental acuity.
  • Use an app to help you take breaks. There are apps available to remind you to get up and walk around or meditate.
  • Change your scenery. Moving away from your desk can make a big difference.

Lunch breaks

Taking lunch breaks is important for productivity. Taking a break for lunch, even a short one, can improve mental health, give you a creativity boost and result in improved self-care and physical health. Find somewhere other than your desk to eat your lunch.