Healthy Break Activities
Will You Take Your Break?
Most people are given some break time in their regular workday to help them unwind and refocus. What you do during that break time could have an impact on your workplace mental health.
Take Your Break activities are no- to low-cost and are designed to encourage employees to take regular breaks even during the busiest workdays. The activity is sent in the weekly email and falls into one of three categories – calming, energizing or relaxing. Each email explains the activity and why it is important.
Subscribe to get regular emails that could help you and your co-workers become calmer, more energized, stay productive and physically relaxed at work. You can unsubscribe from these messages any time.
All of the activity ideas you'll receive can be adapted to accommodate different abilities and were developed by people who are interested in health and wellness from across the country. Many of these activities can be done either individually at your desk or as a group.
Take Your Break activities
Take Your Break activities are focused on helping to improve the mental health of employees, including those who may experience depression, anxiety-related disorders or excessive stress at work. You may not wish to do every activity, so choose those that are a good fit for you in your workplace. You may be amazed at the positive results that can be achieved by investing just a few minutes each day.
Following is a brief description of the activities that will arrive in a weekly rotation to your inbox.
- Take time to tidy up - Clear the stress away
- Work together - Solve the puzzle
- Wall of gratitude - Plan a place to post notes of thanks
- Get inspired - Collect and share inspirational thoughts
- Meditate - Tips for becoming calmer, more energized and relaxed
- Office spa - Create some spa space
- Post positive messages - Whiteboard positive comments
- Write down what you're grateful for - Journal gratefulness
- Imagine ideal vacation - Free your mind
- Plant something - Tend to your wellness
- Plan a healthy meal - Create your own healthier "plan it"
- Use your mind - Scan and comfort your body
- Feet on the floor - Technique to ease tension
- Call a friend - Reach out to someone you can count on
- Get inspired - Appreciate your surroundings
- Energy shake - Shake all over!
- Play mini putt - Putt some play into the day
- Stairway challenge - Reward staff for stepping up (or down)
- Mail delivery - Personally deliver memos and mail
- Get twisting - Hula hooping fun for break time
- Dance at your desk - You choose the music and moves
- Benefits of water - Reminder to drink up
- Energy drink - Whip up some energy for break time
- Connect with loved ones - Take time to text or talk with family or friends
- Keep healthy snacks - Stock up on healthy break bites
- Take the stairs - Energize mentally and physically one step at a time
- Stretch at your desk - Tips for break time stretches
- Play catch - Take breaks during the day to "play"
- Break away - Have your runners at the ready
- Walk or wheel to wellness - Measure daily distance
- Exercise at your desk - Online exercises for when you can't get away
- Brainstorm while you walk or wheel - Energize your ideas
- Move to the music - Twist and shout together
- Healthy snack club - Plan a snack break to re-energize
- Compliment a colleague - Make someone else's day
- Go the distance - Choose to get away from your desk
- Team stretch - Find a place where you can stretch together
- Work in some yoga - Set up at your desk or as a group
- Take a walk in nature - Experience the wonders of nature at work
- Start a game reaction - Set aside space and time for games
- Set a reminder to breath - Breathing exercise to reduce stress
- Get artsy and crafty - Set aside some space at work for arts and crafts
- Stretch your break - Take time to stretch
- The world loves a smile - Share a smile
- Check in on yourself - A tool to assess how you're doing
- Share a comic - Post comic strips and cartoons
- Walk or wheel and stretch - Just 10 minutes a day
- Focus on the positive - Relaxation technique
- Play dough - Gooey fun for break time
- Tea Party - A relaxing break to help focus
- Break buddies - Team up for break time
- Watch a funny video - Take a break to laugh
Break takers share their stories
For those who want to Take Your Break as a team, there are easy ways to adapt the activities for even more fun. Send us an email, which can also include a photo, about your team using a Take Your Break activity.
"Taking some time for a break to recharge, using the 'Take Your Break' activities, helps me relax and re-focus."
"Wonderful resources. I feel my body relax during the 15 minute break while laughing with colleagues."
"I thoroughly enjoyed the tasks within the Take Your Break basket (especially the finding pictures!) as it was a great way to break up the day and was always enjoyed by all. I think it is an amazing idea that we should definitely continue!"
"In our client-focused jobs, it's easy to become immersed within the work and the problems and forget to take a moment to take a break and refocus. Having the short work break exercises using the tools provided in the basket was a fun way to structure 'being made to' take a break."
"It has been a great stress reliever and team building exercise which has allowed us to refocus and remain productive even during times of high demand."
"It has given us a nice work/life balance to the 8:30–4:30 workday."
Sign up to Take Your Break
Take Your Break activities should be approved by your employer/leader prior to initiating them. These activities are provided for general information only and are not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your physician or appropriate health-care provider with respect to your particular circumstances.