Blog Mental Health Mental Health Break: Do You Need a Break or Something More?

Mental Health Break: Do You Need a Break or Something More?

“I can’t take it anymore” – something many of us have told ourselves at least once. Uttering mantras or pretending it will all pass by on its own isn’t always helpful. 

The top thing you should realize at this point is that we all feel powerless, weak, or overwhelmed at times. Sometimes a pause is in order, or maybe even a shift to something different altogether.

Take a step back and look at the big picture. Are you consumed with your job? Perhaps you constantly worry about your kids or feel as if you no longer have the energy to run errands. Maybe you’re simply tired of the mundane, aiming to shift from the basics to something exciting and cool. Or maybe you’ve faced an array of emotional obstacles that impacted your mental state, to the point of feeling that your quality of life is suffering. 

Treat this article not as your final remedy, but as a gentle starting point for incorporating positive changes into your life. 

What Is a Mental Health Break?

A mental health break means changing your routines, responsibilities, and commitments to restore your mental well-being. 

It’s a point where you utter “Enough of this, I’m taking a break”. You no longer want to live the way you’ve been living and no longer want to feel the way you’ve been feeling – you’re ready to come to terms with the current state of affairs. 

How Often Should You Take a Mental Health Break?

There’s no specific timing and frequency as everyone is different and some people may need daily mental breaks while others only need one break a week. The important thing you should do is allow yourself to rest (7). On some occasions, a true vacation from your routine may be in order.

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Regardless of the duration, what matters is how mentally “rejuvenated” you’ll feel when you return to your daily routines.

If a mental health break isn’t enough, it’s time to re-evaluate things, and seeking support and counsel may be in order.

Something tells us you often forget to put all the everyday hustle and bustle on hold and simply concentrate on yourself. It’s time to straighten out your priorities! Take a moment to heal , process your emotions, ground yourself, release all the pent-up tension and recharge with the BetterMe: Meditation & Sleep app before getting back into the race of life!

What Are the Signs That You Need a Mental Health Break? 

Interestingly, some people don’t even realize that they need a mental break due to being stuck in the “I’m fine” loop. 

Check out the most typical signs:

  • You aren’t sleeping well at night

We all understand how essential good sleep is. Not getting enough sleep may deteriorate your daily performance (9).

  • You aren’t taking the time to eat well

Yes, it’s okay to allow yourself a nice slice of pizza or chocolate cake, but when it transforms your daily eating habits, it can become a problem. In addition, some people under heavy stress may skip some meals without noticing it or eat more than usual but be unaware of it. 

  • You lose the motivation to do things

Having to drag yourself to work may be a sign of burnout. High stress levels can transform a job you once looked forward to into monotonous tasks you do out of obligation.

mental health break  

Tips for Balancing Work and Mental Health Breaks

A work-life balance is something everyone tries to attain, and taking breaks from work is a necessary action to restore proper functioning. 

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The chain of misfortunes looks like this: If you don’t take a break – you may experience burnout – burnout can turn you into an unproductive and exhausted human being (8).

Taking a mental health break from work is an individual process for people. However, there are some tips for balancing work and mental health breaks by allowing yourself to relax. 

Go on vacation 

The key to a relaxing vacation is to do things that leave you feeling rejuvenated. Do the things you like. Indulge in your hobbies or try something new. This could be public clubs where people discuss their favorite books or stand-up shows ( laughter is always beneficial).

Try a staycation 

A staycation is spending quality time at home. It’s all about rest and enjoying home: lie in bed if you want to, watch a movie, or meditate. If you feel up to sprucing up your house, why not? It keeps you moving with the additional pro – you get to relax in a clean house. Avoid dealing with any of your regular job responsibilities. Treat it as “me-time” and not “work time”. 

Take short breaks

Sometimes you just need to take a break for your Mental Reset. Try a bike ride, walk around the park for 20 minutes, enjoy a movie, or even have a five-minute meditation session. 

Try a digital detox

A recent review noted the negative effects of frequent technology on mental health and sleep (2). Turn off your notifications, get outside and meet friends face-to-face, or spend solo time in nature – just do something where you won’t be distracted by your co-workers and enjoy a chill time. 

Learn to say “no” to co-workers

Has this ever happened to you: “Please, can you take tomorrow’s shift for me?” or “Can you help me with this project on the weekend?” or “Is there any chance you could stay after work and explain this issue to me?” Working with people is no easy feat and it’s totally normal to help someone out sometimes.  

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However, when it turns into a frequent favor, you should perhaps reconsider. You’re the most important person in your life and your current state matters the most. If you’re drained or simply have other plans now or later, you’re welcome to utter a short “No, I can’t because I have planned something”.

Learning to say no to things you don’t want to do is tough and may take time, but as you start practicing it, you can regain some of your time and energy.

Read more: Is a Walk for Mental Health Really Helpful? Here’s What a Short Walk Can Do to Your Body

What Activities Are Best for a Mental Health Break?

There are many ways to support your mental health, but we want to focus on the ones that turn into positive habits. Building a Healthy Habit will help you restore your energy levels and promote your mental and physical health, which can reduce mental breakdown signs. 

Move your body

A study on the role of physical activity on mental health highlighted the fact that regular physical movements decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety while enhancing sleep quality (6).

This means that you get fit and contribute to your mental well-being. Do this in the following ways: 

  1. Take a long walk or several short walks during the day
  2. Practice yoga at home
  3. Go for a hike 
  4. Dance like nobody’s watching!
  5. Do some strength training
  6. Take a bike ride

mental health break  

Consume nutritious meals

According to a 2020 study published in BMJ, healthy eating patterns are linked to positive mental health (3). Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, berries, legumes, whole grains, and meats. 

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Avoid drinking alcohol and make sure you stay hydrated. If you have a sweet tooth, try to enjoy your chocolate treats after the generous main course loaded with fiber and protein. 

Take a tech break

Technology often distracts us from essential work, which spoils our concentration. You don’t need to live off the grid without using your phone for a few days (although this can be a great idea). Instead, set a timer for 15 minutes and set your phone aside. Then, take one to two minutes to check your apps, and get to work for another 15-minute cycle (1).  

Your goal is to increase the time between your tech breaks, building up to 45 minutes away from your phone.

Participate in arts

Arts are beneficial to our mental well-being, but many people rarely put this into practice. This is likely because people assume they need to be talented to enter their artistic side. You could write a poem, paint a picture, or sing a song without striving to be perfect at it. These activities are designed to elevate your mood, so try them without aiming for idealistic results (1).

If you wish to reach into the deep crevices of your mind, take yourself out of the mental loop, regain balance, infuse yourself with optimism, and cultivate compassion – BetterMe: Meditation & Sleep app is exactly what you need!

Create a sleeping schedule

Not getting enough sleep has a negative impact on mental health and it’s important to enjoy generous sleep. The best way to do this is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Here are the key hacks to do this: 

  • Avoid screen time one hour before sleep
  • Maintain a colder temperature in your bedroom
  • Avoid hitting the snooze button
  • Hydrate yourself no less than two hours before turning in (you don’t want to wake up having to take a leak at night)
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How Can You Communicate Your Need for a Mental Health Break to Others?

The first step is admitting you need one.

Next, write down the things you’ll be asking for so you don’t stutter or forget important things. Avoid presenting a laundry list of needs and choose approximately three things you need. Be genuine and clear without exhibiting any turbulent emotions, calmly explaining your situation and how you feel about it. 

Whether you’re talking with your boss or a friend, it’s important to tell them how stress is impacting your daily life and work and how a mental break could help.

Read more: The Benefits of Art Therapy for Mental Health

mental health break  


  • Do you need a mental health break?

You may need a mental health break if you’ve experienced one or more of the following: a lack of motivation, sleep issues, and proneness to an unhealthy diet.

  • How can you maintain good mental health during a break?

Effective ways to maintain mental health during a break involve digital detox, exercising, better sleep, meditation, mindful walking, receiving massages, engaging in creative activities, listening to music, getting hugs from friends and family, and cuddling pets. 

  • How long is a good mental health break?

This depends on your circumstances. Some people may only need 5 minutes of deep breathing and meditation while others may require a longer span, such as a couple of hours or possibly a vacation. 

Try to take the time you need to restore your powers so you can function well in your daily life again.

The Bottom Line

A mental health break is an efficient way to shift from your routines, responsibilities, and commitments and reboot your mental well-being. 

Balancing your mental work and health is possible by doing different things that aid restful feelings: a vacation or staycation, short breaks, digital detox, and the ability to say “no” to coworkers when you’re not feeling up to helping them.

In addition, you should consider being physically active, loading your diet with essential nutrients, participating in arts, creating a sleeping schedule, staying optimistic about aging, and spending quality time with your loved ones. 

You should communicate your mental health break needs clearly and genuinely without becoming emotional. Don’t hesitate to speak to a specialist if the problem is ongoing and a mental health break doesn’t help. It’s important to take a mental health break when you need to. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. 10 Ways to Support Your Mental Health in 2024 (2024,
  2. Brain health consequences of digital technology use (2020,
  3. Food and mood: how do diet and nutrition affect mental wellbeing? (2020,
  4. Mental health (
  5. Nervous breakdown (2023,
  6. Role of Physical Activity on Mental Health and Well-Being: A Review (2023,
  7. Taking Breaks Is Good for Your Brain — Here’s Why (2022,
  8. Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry (2016,
  9. What Are Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency? (2022,