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Tips to help you take time out
If you are struggling to take time out to look after your mental health, or you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our tips below.
Pause & try to make time during the day to take breaks. It can help if you plan ahead when that will be, especially if you are doing work for long periods of time. You can write down a schedule for the day to help you remember to take breaks and when your breaks are. Pausing throughout the day can prevent stress from building up. Here are some ways you can pause:
* Set a timer on your phone. When it goes off, stop what you are doing if you are able to, move your body position by stretching, or letting your shoulders drop.
* Use a self-soothe box. A __self-soothe box__ contains things that ground you and make you feel more relaxed. It can have some of your favourite things in to focus your mind on and away from your work.
* Leave time in between tasks to stop, gather your thoughts, and have some moments of quiet before moving onto something else.
* Get a drink or snack. Going to get a cup of tea or a biscuit will give you a moment to walk away from your work, pause and give you something else to focus on.
* Listen to some of your favourite music or a podcast. It can help pause your thoughts from what you are working on. Focussing on the beats of the music or the conversation can make you feel calm and help you switch off from the task you are doing.
Take deep breaths – taking deep breaths after a stressful situation and concentrating on your breathing can have a calming effect and help you relax.
* Close your eyes.
* Take deep breaths in and out.
* Think of your favourite place.
* Focus on the place and picture yourself there.
* What can you see? What can you smell? What can you feel?
Imagining being in your favourite place can take you away from your current stressful situation and help you relax and calm down.
Be mindful & be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. It can help you change the way you approach challenges and see them from a different point of view.
Taking time away from screens – sometimes, it can be hard to switch off when you get a lot of notifications, messages and alerts on your phone. When you are taking time out, try to relax by reading a book, writing in your journal or listening to music.
Find a hobby – a hobby away from care or work can help you switch off and take time to do something you enjoy. It can be anything, but common hobbies include running, reading, drawing and writing.
Go for a walk – going for a walk during your lunchtime at work, or after work, can help you to take a break and find time to reflect on how you are feeling.
Meet a friend – spending time with a friend can help you take your mind off whatever is making you feel stressed. Whether that’s just sending a text, going for a walk together or having a phone call, chatting to someone you trust and talking things over can help you wind down.
If you are finding things overwhelming and you are struggling to cope, talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. You deserve the support you need.
Small habits that can benefit your mental health
Aim to plan for the day ahead so you know what your focus is for each day. Specifically, aim to create an adaptable routine as it’s important to understand that each day will not always go to plan.
This routine will include a range of tasks, including getting ready, your daily work/chores/tasks, scheduling the following day and having some time to relax. It’s important to schedule in ‘small’ and ‘big’ tasks as both are achievements to be celebrated.
Aim to create an adaptable routine as it’s important to understand that each day will not always go to plan.
Here’s a tip for you to try this week :
Schedule your day and take time for yourself to do what you enjoy when you can such as exercise, listening to music or going shopping, Book time to take a break during the day for yourself,
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