The Importance of Mental Wellness Breaks

In agricultural communities, there is a major focus on productivity. While it is important to remain productive in order for your business to thrive, hyper-productivity can lead to burnout, physical exhaustion, mental exhaustion and can exacerbate mental health issues. 

Overworking yourself can do a lot more harm than good. If you begin experiencing burnout or exhaustion from being overworked, it can become essentially impossible to remain productive and get work done.   

So how do we combat these issues? It can seem like a daunting task when we have so much to do and we feel like we don’t have time to take breaks. However, taking a break could be the difference between succumbing to the effects of burnout and exhaustion and being able to remain productive in the work we need to do. Breaks don’t need to be long. Taking short mental wellness-focused breaks throughout the day can be enough to avoid or combat burnout. 

Here are some mental wellness breaks to try that can help improve your overall mental wellness and combat burnout: 

  • Try mindfulness and breathing exercises: You can do these anywhere, for as long as you need, and as many times as you need throughout the day. 
    • Mindfulness exercises can be extremely simple. Focus on your surroundings. Observe and take in what is around you. Taking this moment to refocus your mind can help when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed 
    • Breathing exercises can also be extremely simple. Conscious breathing is an easy way to ground yourself and take a moment to check in. 
  • Go for a walk: Getting out of your work environment can help to reset your mind so you’re able to be more productive. If we stay in the same place doing the same thing all day, the redundancy can become burnout inducing. Going for a walk, and especially getting out in nature, is a great way to take a wellness break.
  • Call a friend or family member: Sometimes all it takes is reaching out to someone to talk about your day, their day, or nothing at all really, to avoid burnout. Connecting with others is a great way to stabilize ourselves in times of stress. You can share with them how you’re feeling or simply chat! This might also give them a chance for a wellness break. 
  • Take time to enjoy your lunch/coffee breaks: This might seem a bit unnecessary to include. But so often when life gets busy, we forget to actually enjoy the things that fuel us. Really focus on what you’re eating. Ask yourself “what do I like about this meal?” “what flavours are in this?” “how does this meal make me feel?” Taking this time for reflection is actually a very quick and easy mindfulness activity!
  • Stretch!: If we are doing physically laborious work, our bodies can become overworked and tired. Take time throughout the day to stretch your muscles. This wellness break is not only great for your mental health, but your physical health as well. Our mental and physical health are deeply connected, so why not help both at once!

If we’re overworked and experiencing burnout, work can seem like it’s too much to take on. Taking mental wellness breaks can help you be more productive and can have great long-term effects on your overall mental health and wellbeing!