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Take a Break: Creative Ways for Young Professionals to Reconnect With Their Mental Health


Photo courtesy Brooke Cagle on unsplash.com


In a quest to help young professionals maintain their mental health and avoid burnout, we sought advice from a range of experts, including psychologists, CEOs, and HR directors. From the importance of physical activity to building a clear separation between work and life, here are eight insightful strategies these professionals recommend.

  • Incorporate Physical Activity

  • Understand What Makes You Burn Out

  • Embark on New Adventures

  • Spend Quality Time Outdoors

  • Learn How to Take Breaks

  • Maintain Proper Nutrition

  • Schedule Screen-Free Time

  • Build Separation Between Work and Life

Incorporate Physical Activity

The most effective way for young professionals to recharge and avoid burnout revolves around physical activity. Hands down, it's the most accessible and effective way, in my opinion. The benefits of physical movement extend beyond the visible aspects of fitness and weight management, reaching the core of our psychological well-being.


When we engage in regular physical activities, we stimulate the production of endorphins—natural brain chemicals that act as mood elevators and painkillers. This process reduces stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, making physical exercise a natural antidote to our time's common mental health challenges. More so, in our modern era of digital overstimulation, physical activities offer a break from screens, providing an opportunity to reconnect with our bodies.


Furthermore, regular exercise supports healthier sleep patterns. A well-rested mind is more resilient, focused, and less prone to the negative effects of stress.



Understand What Makes You Burn Out

Being a therapist and a business owner, I can relate to both sides of this. I can say that it helps to have time unplugged and to let your mind wander.


Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, describes this as an essential tool for creativity and focused work. As a therapist, I can say that this stilling of the mind helps your mental health as you can notice the nature and world around you, and this reduces stress. Similarly, I would suggest time in nature as it does a world of good. Personally, I hit the gym hard 5 days a week and it does wonders for my stress, sleep, and focus.


It helps to be aware of what makes you feel burned out and to look at options for how you can treat it. What options do you have? Is there a way to look at the problem differently? Is there a resource you can employ that might help? Are you doing things that make it harder on yourself or helping yourself? Awareness of the issue and noticing what helps is part of the battle.



Embark on New Adventures

Traveling is a fantastic way for young professionals to recharge and reconnect with their mental health, helping them steer clear of burnout.


By embarking on new adventures and exploring unfamiliar surroundings, travel offers a refreshing change of pace from the daily grind. It allows individuals to disconnect from work-related stressors, immerse themselves in different cultures, and gain a fresh perspective on life.


Whether it's lounging on a sun-soaked beach or venturing into the wilderness, travel provides a chance to unwind, rejuvenate, and reset.


Guy Sharp, Relocation Manager, Andorra Guides


Spend Quality Time Outdoors

Spending quality time outdoors is a great yet uncommon way for young professionals to reconnect with their mental health and avoid burnout. Taking a walk in the park, enjoying some yoga in an open space, or simply lying on your back looking at the stars can help you center yourself and put any stress into perspective.


Even activities like fishing or camping can help clear the mind while also creating strong connections with nature that will bring you closer to inner peace and calmness.



Learn How to Take Breaks

Just learn to take breaks. You must recognize the importance of stepping away from work and giving yourselves time to recharge. I know firsthand that it's natural to have a strong drive and ambition to tackle numerous tasks and challenges in the early stages of your career.


But pushing yourself too hard without breaks can lead to burnout and hinder your overall productivity.


If you add regular breaks into your routine, you can regain focus, relieve your mind, and maintain a healthier work-life balance. The best way to do it is to make it a habit to pause, unwind, and recharge. Remember, you don't have to do it all or with perfection.


Shaun Connell, Founder and CEO, U.S. Dictionary


Maintain Proper Nutrition

Maintaining proper nutritional intake plays a pivotal role in recharging and reconnecting young professionals with their mental health, ultimately safeguarding them against burnout. By consuming a well-rounded diet comprising nutrient-dense foods, professionals equip their bodies with the essential fuel and nourishment needed to support optimal brain function and overall well-being.


A wholesome eating plan, complete with an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, can significantly uplift mood, enhance concentration, and boost cognitive abilities. Prioritizing nutrition fosters stable blood sugar levels, warding off energy crashes and mood swings that often contribute to burnout.


Furthermore, nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B and D have been shown to improve mental health. Embracing proper nutrition serves as a proactive measure of self-care, endowing young professionals with the vitality and resilience necessary to navigate their careers.



Schedule Screen-Free Time for Clarity

One of the best ways for young professionals to recharge and reconnect with their mental health is to schedule screen-free time. In today’s digital age, taking the time to unplug is key to gaining clarity and recharging. I highly recommend that anyone looking to take their career to the next level, take some time offline.


John Mooney, President, IML


Build Separation Between Work and Life

The best way to seriously address a recharge is to schedule time outside of work to properly reconnect with your life outside of a working environment.


Whether that's picking up old hobbies, taking a holiday, or even practicing mindfulness and meditation, the best thing you can do is to consciously strive to build a separation between your working life, and your life away from work.




 

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