To Manage Your Stress During the Coronavirus, Try Taking Meaningful Breaks

The problem is big, but the solution starts small.

S_Photo/ Shutterstock
S_Photo/ Shutterstock

Since the pandemic began, Thrive Global has surveyed over 8,000 Americans on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 82% of individuals report feeling that the pandemic has had a bigger negative impact on their stress than any other event in history. When you feel like your stress levels are spiking, it might be your brain’s way of signaling that you need a quick break to reset.

Whether we’re working from home, caring for children, or spending too much time watching the news (or all of the above!) taking frequent breaks throughout the day to do something that energizes us is key for our well-being. 

There’s no one “right” way to take a break; the key is to let your mind rest and recharge, even for a few minutes. If you’re able to step outside for a dose of fresh air, you may want to do so. According to a study published in Scientific Reports, when people take breaks from their schedules to enjoy a view of nature, they are happier and less stressed when they get back to work. If going outside isn’t possible for you right now, that’s OK: you can still take advantage of the mental benefits of looking at nature. Set your screensaver to a beautiful photo from your last trip, print that same photo out and keep it handy at your desk, or create your own little view of greenery with a few small desk plants.

Of course, getting a dose of nature isn’t the only way to destress. Today, try one of the Microsteps below to help you disconnect, recharge, and boost your resilience. 

Schedule time to go outside. Even a few minutes will help you recharge. Vitamin D from the sun is critical for our immune system health and overall mental well-being.

Whenever a call ends early, take an extra two minutes for a stretch break. Fitting in movement is particularly key when you’re not moving during a commute.

Set a news cut-off time at the end of the day. Setting news consumption limits helps us get a better night’s sleep and keep things in perspective.

Schedule breaks for movement throughout the day. For example, walk around your home (or even around the room) while speaking on the phone.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    Working from home vs. working from home during a pandemic

    by Janice Chaka
    G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock
    Working From Home in the New Normal//

    Why You Should Take PTO, Even While Working From Home

    by Jessica Hicks
    Girts Ragelis / Shutterstock
    Thriving in the New Normal//

    How to Lead With Strength and Wisdom in Times of Crisis

    by Elaine Lipworth

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.