Mental Breaks

We all get overworked and need to take a breather sometimes. But do we remember to do the same for our minds? To take mental breaks? To release? Go blank? Your mind’s been going and going and going. You’ve worked hard and had results. But have you had real rest?

Let’s see what happens when you stop staying “on” all the time. You might feel amazing after a break in your bedroom – try Googling “landscape photos” and scrolling instead of getting on social media. You might even be more productive after just sitting for a moment with your eyes closed. Notice your breath, your amazing heartbeat, or the sacred stillness that seems to be going extinct. Save some for yourself even if it’s just a few seconds.

Below are some ideas for mental breaks:

Simple service for someone else. Genuine service for others helps distract us from our own challenges, and sometimes even leads to finding new approaches to dealing with them.

A detail-oriented, physical chore. Other times it takes doing something with our hands to really let our brain relax. Scrub something! Chop vegetables! Think about it enough to distract you from stress, but not too hard. LOL

Get lost in a good story. Whether it’s a book or a movie, an adventure that pulls us away from our problems is therapeutic. We get to be inside someone else’s head. We get to see them overcome. Even if it takes you longer than you’d like to finish, enjoy the journey and the escape from everyday life! You might even do some accidental growing along the way.

Look at good art. I regularly search “cute puppy photos” online with my son when we need a positive break. The images give my brain an intermission from my worries and remind me that there is still good in the world!

Mario Kart. This is one of the silliest and important truths of my life: driving terribly in a video game with no consequences is good for the soul!

Get outdoors. One of the best ways to change the scenery in our minds is to change the scenery around us. Explore someplace new. Walk barefoot in the dirt. Put your hands on a tree trunk. Splash in a stream. Your mind (and heart) will thank you.

Turn your phone off. You can’t expect to disconnect if you’re always connected. Even if it’s just a short period of time, make it happen and unplug.

Play an instrument. I repeatedly tell myself I don’t have time to practice music, but it truly is my break time. When I’m counting notes, I can’t count everything that’s still on my to-do list. Playing the notes means I drop the other balls I’m juggling and get the luxury of focusing on one task. Plus, the music itself washes my mind clean. Practicing is worth every minute.

I hope you can find ways to let the clarity of empty space fill your mind. Giving yourself a mental break is just as important as giving your body a chance to rest, but it’s up to us to do it. Sometimes doing less is more. Sometimes doing more is more because it’s distracting. See what helps you! Just remember that no matter how busy you get, you deserve mental breaks.