Making the Most of Your Breaks

It’s no secret that some days are more hectic than others! It can be difficult to maintain a sense of calm when your focus is needed in multiple directions. Taking time to practice simple mindfulness techniques can help you build stress resilience.

How can mindfulness benefit me?

Mindfulness is defined as “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”1 Studies show that practicing mindfulness can reduce stress and increase focus. People who do so regularly often experience improved mental and physical health.2

Do you have 5 minutes for a mindfulness activity? (see examples below).

Mini Mindfulness Breaks for Your Day:

Gratitude in the Morning - When you sit down at your desk or start your day, write down three things you are grateful for. To get started, think about the people you are grateful for, positive things that have happened, or simple joys in your life (like your bed!).

Drink Slowly & Breathe - The next time you drink water, slow down and enjoy it for a few seconds. Take a deep breath, take a sip of water, and then take another deep breath. Notice how the water feels in your mouth moving down your throat.

Take a Tech-Free Walk - When you take a bathroom break or lunchtime stroll leave your phone behind. Take those few minutes to walk without distractions. Feel your feet on the ground and observe your surroundings.

Stretch it Out - Do some stretching at your desk or in a break room. Pick 3-5 stretches and take your time. Focus on your breath and how your body feels while you stretch. Reach out to your Hinge Health coach for stretch ideas or open the Hinge Health app on your phone.

Meditation Minute - If you feel comfortable, close your eyes and bring awareness to your breath. Start counting your breaths until you get to 10 (breathe in & out to count for 1 and continue until 10). Once you get to 10 start again at 1. Continue breathing and counting your breaths until you feel more relaxed.

Turn your mindfulness breaks into a habit - Keep yourself accountable. When our days get busy it can be easy to forget about new habits. Take advantage of strategies to remember your mindfulness breaks until they become automatic.

Accountability Tips:

  • Ask your Hinge Health coach to check in with you.
  • Schedule this habit into your calendar, use a phone reminder, or put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror, computer or refrigerator.

References:

  1. Jon Kabat-Zinn. (2013, October 7). Retrieved April 22, 2019, from MBSR Training Online website: https://mbsrtraining.com/about-jon-kabat-zinn/
  2. Wei, M. (2018, October 23). New Research Suggests Mindfulness Improves Job Satisfaction. Retrieved November 20, 2019, from.