Stress or anxiety is a natural response to external factors that disrupt our balance, either emotionally or physically. While stress can be beneficial in small amounts, generating the drive to complete tasks and meet deadlines, persistent stress can be detrimental to both mental and physical well-being.

Taking regular breaks is one of the most effective ways to deal with stress. In this article, we will highlight the importance of taking breaks in stress management.

Why Taking Breaks Are Essential in Managing Stress

With all of life’s demands and pressures, it’s easy to become wrapped in a stress vortex and forget to take care of yourself. Taking breaks, on the other hand, is critical for stress management and overall health. 

When we take a break, our bodies and minds relax and recharge; they allow us to step away from stressors and focus on something else. Plus, taking such breaks regularly will help you feel more at ease and help you approach difficulties with new vigour and perspective.

Benefits of Taking Regular Breaks

Here are some benefits that taking breaks bring:

Mood Boost

Breaking away from your routine for a while can be a fantastic mood enhancer. Utilize your breaks to engage in activities you enjoy, fostering relaxation and an improved emotional state. Socializing or pursuing recreational activities are excellent options.

Enhance Physical Well-being

If you’ve spent the day glued to your computer screen, taking a break provides an opportunity for physical activity. Even a short burst of exercise can yield long-term health benefits, reducing the risk of issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression.

Can we help you?

Leave us your information and one of our coaches will contact you.

Revitalize Energy

When your focus is solely on one task, it’s common to feel drained. However, taking a break allows for a much-needed energy boost. Quick power naps lasting 10–20 minutes can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the remainder of the day.

Protect Your Vision

The average person spends seven hours a day in front of a computer, a trend observed globally. Whether it’s work-related or for leisure, prolonged screen time can lead to “computer vision syndrome” [1] or “digital eye strain.” Symptoms include headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain.

Taking regular breaks allows your eyes to stretch and rest, combating the effects of prolonged screen exposure. Remember to take a 15-minute break after every two hours of screen time for optimal eye care.

Impact of Not Taking Breaks

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of constantly being productive and pushing yourself to the limit. Failure to take breaks, on the other hand, can have major implications for one’s physical and mental health, productivity, and overall well-being. Here are some of the common impacts of not taking breaks.

Leads to Burnout

Failure to take breaks can lead to burnout, a state of emotional, physiological, and mental depletion caused by constant and severe anxiety. This can lead to reduced job satisfaction, decreased motivation, and even depression.

Muscle Discomfort

Extended periods of uninterrupted sitting can negatively impact physical health, leading to issues like poor posture, muscle tension, and persistent discomfort.

Negatively Impact Productivity

Not taking breaks might have a negative impact on productivity. The brain can only concentrate for so long before it gets tired, and taking small breaks can help recharge this. Taking breaks has been proven to enhance productivity and creativity.

Ways to Incorporate Breaks into Your Routine

There’re many ways you can incorporate breaks into your routine, starting from today. Here are a few examples:

Schedule Breaks

Scheduling breaks in your normal routine is one way to ensure that you are taking breaks. A timer or scheduling software can assist you in remembering when it is time to take a break. You can for example schedule a 10-minute break every hour or 30-minute break every two hours of work. 

Scheduling your breaks ensures that you take them on a regular basis and reduces the possibility that you will forget about them.

Take a Nap

If you’re sleepy or fatigued, a quick nap will help you refresh and focus. A 20–30-minute power nap will revitalise and revive you. To avoid sleeping in, remember to set an alarm.

Ways to Incorporate Breaks into Your Routine

Go for a Walk

A walk is another great way to relax while getting some exercise. You can go for a quick walk around your office, get some fresh air outside, or walk to the nearest coffee shop. Walking can help you clear your thoughts, regain energy, and improve your attitude.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing your attention on your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Practising moments of mindfulness during the day will help reduce anxiety, improve focus, and stimulate creativity. You can practise mindfulness by meditating, taking deep breaths, or focusing on a specific item.

Listen to Music

Music can help you relax, and improve your mood, and concentration. You can listen to your favourite music or a relaxing playlist during your break to help you rest and rejuvenate. Use headphones or keep the volume low to avoid bothering others.

What Can Stop You Taking Breaks

Taking breaks can be tough for many people. People can stop taking breaks for a number of reasons. Here are some instances:

Fear of Falling Behind

Fear of falling behind on work is one of the most common reasons people stop taking breaks. With looming deadlines and a never-ending to-do list, it can be tough to find time to unwind without feeling bad about neglecting your responsibilities. 

To overcome this, prioritise your workload and pick the most critical things that require your immediate attention. This will allow you to plan your breaks around your work and avoid falling behind.

Guilt and Perceived Laziness

Society frequently encourages the idea that we must be constantly busy, and taking a break can be interpreted as a sign of weakness or laziness. This viewpoint may encourage us to feel guilty for taking time off and to work for long periods of time without rest.

Unhealthy Habits

Skipping breaks by working through lunch, checking emails late at night, and bringing work home can hinder the ability to take necessary breaks. Moreover, these habits may contribute to burnout and various health issues.

Tips to Taking Effective Breaks

Here are some tips to help you take effective breaks:

Move Your Body

Physical activity can help reduce anxiety and improve happiness. Stretch or do some mild exercise during your break. This can also assist to mitigate the negative health effects of prolonged sitting.

Let Your Mind Wander

Give your mind a break by allowing it to wander, whether through zoning out or daydreaming. When you stop actively focusing, your brain’s Default Mode Network takes over. This provides respite for your overworked prefrontal cortex, responsible for complex functions such as problem-solving, memory, thinking, and reasoning.

Recognizing a burn-out

Download our
free e-book

Recognizing a burnout
(more than 60 symptoms)

Engage in a Hobby

Taking a break and doing something enjoyable might help you feel revitalised and refreshed. A hobby, whether it’s playing an instrument, reading a book, or putting together a puzzle, can provide a mental break from work.

Grab a Snack

Enjoying a healthy snack or drink can help provide energy and sustenance. Instead of eating at your desk or while multitasking, take the time to savour your meal and drink.


Social engagement has proved to enhance mood and lessen stress. Use your break time to catch up with a co-worker or a friend, or to join in a group activity, such as a midday walk.

Where Can I Get Help to Manage Stress?

Knowing how to manage anxiety is critical for sustaining your well-being and quality of life. Fortunately, there are countless solutions available to assist you in dealing with anxiety. Here are some resources to consider:

Employee Assistant Programs

Many employers offer confidential counselling services for personal and work-related issues, such as stress management, through employee support programs. EAPs are typically free, and you can access them by visiting the human resources department.

Mental Health Professionals

Psychologists and coaches, for example, are trained to help people cope with stress. They can offer you coping techniques, provide emotional support, and help you establish a stress reduction plan. 

Support Groups

Support groups are an excellent way to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. They offer a safe and supportive environment where you can express yourself and get support and encouragement from others. You can find support groups through mental health clinics, local community centres, and online forums.

Mind Body Practices

Mind-body activities such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation are examples of practices that can assist to reduce anxiety and improve relaxation. You can access them in local yoga studios, community centres, and online sessions.

Conquer burnout and stress

Reducing stress and recovering from burnout can be quite the challenge. With the help of our professional coaches, we are convinced that a full recovery is within reach. Our years of experience has taught us what stepping stones will help you reach your goal more effectively and how to make sure the changes you make will be of help to you for the rest of your life. Let’s turn your burnout or stress into your best life ever.


Employees who take time off from work return to work more focused and productive. Furthermore, breaks improve employees’ mental health and well-being by relieving stress.

Yes, taking regular breaks can help you be more effective than working nonstop.

Yes. Taking time for yourself will help you reduce anxiety and refresh your mind.

Breaks allow you to remain focused and involved in your work. This helps you carry out your tasks more effectively and with fewer errors.

Breaks are essential for effective stress management. So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break and give yourself a chance to recharge.


  1. – computer vision syndrome – found on 08/04/2024
    Link to a page on

Similar Posts