August 16, 2021

Stress Less with Energy Breaks: Be Well at Work


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Since the onset of a global pandemic, most of us have lived out of our comfort zone on a consistent basis to keep up with the demands of life and work. How can we show up as our best selves each day when the effects of chronic stress alters our bodies’ ability to heal and recover optimally hindering performance and productivity?

If you experience ongoing fatigue, overwhelm, brain fog, poor exercise recovery, recurring nervousness or erratic sleep patterns, you may be experiencing imbalances within your nervous system.

The good news is, through the practice of a variety of proven techniques and brain hacks, we can learn how to self-regulate and produce an inner immunity and resiliency to stress.

During this past year and a half of living through a pandemic and the constant need for adaptation, people are reporting virtual fatigue, eye strain and headaches from interacting with too much technology. Many say the work-life balance has become blurred without the commute time to unwind or hang out with friends or colleagues at the end of the work day.

Work-from-home distractions have increased, presenteeism and difficulty focusing is an increasing issue which is leading to more cases of depression, anxiety and burnout. Read more on how to avoid burnout in our post about how taking a break before you break makes much sense.

Use wellness tools to stay on top of your game

In the words of Tony Robbins;

“What's wrong is always available. So is what's right.”

If you ask someone what’s bothering them or what’s wrong, you’re reinforcing the problem and giving it more energy. Alternatively, if you ask, “What do you want?” or “How do you want to shift things?” you’ve now redirected the focus from the problem to the solution.”

It starts with each one of us. Maintaining focus on solutions versus problems, we can redirect our attention to more solution-oriented thoughts and actions and help our colleagues do the same.

Next, set healthy boundaries for well-being throughout the day to rejuvenate the mind and body. In doing so, we are ensuring the preservation of our energy and our ability to stay focused.

“When we take care of ourselves, we see benefits to our physical and mental health, performance and productivity,” says Arianna Huffington. “When we don’t, we pay a price: innovation, creativity, resilience, empathy, decision-making and team building are the first to disappear when we are burned out and depleted.”

We can achieve much more without wear and tear when we learn to pause, rest and reset.

“Last year, Human Factors Lab monitored participants’ brain activity and found that virtual fatigue begins to set in roughly 30 minutes into a meeting. They used EEG devices to monitor changes in brain activity, and looked specifically at the impact of taking breaks.
The results were conclusive. Taking breaks between meetings stops cumulative stress from building up, giving our brains a chance to “reset.” In back-to-back meetings for two hours, subjects’ brains showed a steady increase of beta waves, which are connected to stress. But when participants took a break between meetings, the beta activity decreased. Even more fascinating, the beta waves remained low even when followed by four additional consecutive virtual meetings.”

Reset and lower stress in just 60 to 90 seconds

Stress is inevitable. But cumulative stress is avoidable. Our FastFit / Take a Break tips included in the Be Well 360 program include a variety of tips and techniques that can be done from 60 seconds to 15 minutes: movement, breathing, stretching, meditation and gratitude – easily practiced at your desk or anytime in the work day.

Unless we recognize and act on the science of resetting and taking breaks our productivity and performance in all areas will diminish.

Being well and performing at our best doesn’t have to take much time. Infuse several mini-moments into your day by scheduling them into your calendar. What are some of your own top wellness tips that can be executed in 15 minutes or less?

In both our consumer and corporate programs, we share the Kaizen principle: focus on 1% improvement each day and keep it simple. Most people are already in overload and need time to adapt to the new demands being placed upon them at work and at home yet still want to stay healthy, happy and energized. Shorter workouts and taking breaks can help keep stress hormones lower.

Enlist the support of others. Do you like challenges? We can help. Be Well 360 offers a multitude of online resources to help you stay well during the workday. Need help focusing? Want an energy boost? How about a dose of confidence to step into your next meeting or presentation. We’ve got you covered.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Top 10 breaks of 15 minutes or less to positively impact well-being

Top 10 breaks of 15 minutes or less to positively impact well-being
  • 5 minutes of conscious breathing, close your eyes and focus on rhythmic breath, 5 second inhale, 5 second exhale.
  • 5-10 minutes of various forms of stretching
  • 5-10 minutes of self massage, tapping, foam rolling or myofascial release techniques
  • 5-10 minutes of rebounding
  • 6-9 rounds of flowing sun salutations linked to breath
  • 1-3 restorative yoga postures of your choice based on needs, rest in each for 2-5 minutes
  • 10 minutes of fresh air, get outdoors alone or play with a pet or kids
  • 10-15 minute outdoor power walking focusing on posture and your surroundings
  • 10-15 minute circuit training, build a full body functional movement routine targeting mobility and stability
  • Hop on your bike and cycle around the neighborhood to enjoy new sights and sounds

What do all these activities have in common?

They boost happiness hormones, alleviate tension, decrease stress, improve your mood, augment joy, creativity and well-being leading to boosted productivity, mental clarity, resiliency and ability to focus on what matters the most.

Commit to your well-being from the inside out, you are worth it.


energy break, Stress Less