Healthy Break Activities

SUMMARY: Subscribe to weekly Take Your Break emails for practical and engaging break time activities that focus on helping to improve mental health at work.

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.

TakeYourBreak resource pack

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.

CALMING

  1. Take time to tidy up - Clear the stress away
  2. Work together - Solve the puzzle
  3. Wall of gratitude - Plan a place to post notes of thanks
  4. Get inspired - Collect and share inspirational thoughts
  5. Meditate - Tips for becoming calmer, more energized and relaxed
  6. Office spa - Create some spa space
  7. Post positive messages - Whiteboard positive comments
  8. Write down what you're grateful for - Journal gratefulness
  9. Imagine ideal vacation - Free your mind
  10. Plant something - Tend to your wellness
  11. Plan a healthy meal - Create your own healthier "plan it"
  12. Use your mind - Scan and comfort your body
  13. Feet on the floor - Technique to ease tension
  14. Call a friend - Reach out to someone you can count on
  15. Get inspired - Appreciate your surroundings
  16. ENERGIZING

  17. Energy shake - Shake all over!
  18. Play mini putt - Putt some play into the day
  19. Stairway challenge - Reward staff for stepping up (or down)
  20. Mail walk - Personally deliver memos and mail
  21. Get twisting - Hula hooping fun for break time
  22. Dance at your desk - You choose the music and moves
  23. Benefits of water - Reminder to drink up
  24. Energy drink - Whip up some energy for break time
  25. Connect with loved ones - Take time to text or talk with family or friends
  26. Keep healthy snacks - Stock up on healthy break bites
  27. Take the stairs - Energize mentally and physically one step at a time
  28. Stretch at your desk - Tips for break time stretches
  29. Play ball - Take breaks during the day to "play"
  30. Sneaker away - Have your runners at the ready
  31. Walk or wheel to wellness - Measure daily distance
  32. Exercise at your desk - Online exercises for when you can't get away
  33. Brainstorm while you walk or wheel - Energize your ideas
  34. Move to the music - Twist and shout together
  35. Healthy snack club - Plan a snack break to re-energize
  36. Compliment a colleague - Make someone else's day
  37. Go the distance - Choose to get away from your desk
  38. RELAXATION

  39. Team stretch - Find a place where you can stretch together
  40. Work in some yoga - Set up at your desk or as a group
  41. Take a walk in nature - Experience the wonders of nature at work
  42. Start a game reaction - Set aside space and time for games
  43. Set a reminder to breath - Breathing exercise to reduce stress
  44. Get artsy and crafty - Set aside some space at work for arts and crafts
  45. Stretch your break - Take time to stretch
  46. The world loves a smile - Share a smile
  47. Check in on yourself - A tool to assess how you're doing
  48. Share a comic - Post comic strips and cartoons
  49. Walk or wheel and stretch - Just 10 minutes a day
  50. Focus on the positive - Relaxation technique
  51. Play dough - Gooey fun for break time
  52. Tea Party - A relaxing break to help focus
  53. Break buddies - Team up for break time
  54. 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.

Break takers

Break takers

"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.

A place to take your break