• Haines Media

How to take a break & why is it important?

With the start of the new year, many of us are heading on holidays or are coming back from a well-deserved break, and if there is anything 2020 and 2021 has taught us, it is that taking breaks is incredibly important, not only for your physical wellbeing but your mental wellbeing too.

Switching off your work phone, putting your out of office reply on, and stepping away from the screen is a task many of us struggle with. The guilt, the anxiety and not knowing what will happen in the interim, it eats us up inside!

Mental health in Australia affects one in five adults from 16 to 85 years of age. A study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that out of 5000 workers, 25% had to take time off for stressed related reasons. Whilst this might seem like a small percentage, it can cause a drain on our economy ranging from $10 to $15 billion dollars per annum. This is due to lack of productivity, health check-ups costs and needing more leave from work.

If working in an unhealthy work environment, can create or contribute to the development of mental health issues. It can affect anyone and everyone. Part of the problem can be excessive stress, which can lead to injury and occupational disease. Worker’s Compensation for mental health problems cost around $145 million dollars per year and is claimed as a psychological injury.

This may also lead to some people feeling physical effects such as migraines and difficulty in concentrating. It is important for everyone in the workplace to be aware of the signs and to report early symptoms.

Those symptoms could be (but are not limited) to:

  • Constantly sad or discouraged;

  • Sleeping too much or not enough;

  • Withdrawal from friends, family and co-workers;

  • Emotional outbursts;

  • Use of substances; and

  • Increased fights with family and co-workers.

If you feel these symptoms coming on, or if the world is becoming too much around you, taking a break is a good move. For many people, this may mean something different. For some, taking a break means doing something active and getting the heart rate up. For others, it may mean a quiet day in, with a cup of tea. At work, you could try some breathing exercises or a couple of minutes of meditation.

Regardless, of whichever way you want to go, taking a break can help put things into perspective. So go on, have a break for your mental health. I’ll see you in five.