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Learn & Practice

Workplace Wellness: Space to “Be” at Work

By The Healthy Minds Team

In this week’s Workplace Wellness we explore how to create a relaxed mind by making some space in the day to do nothing.

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash 

If you are on a hamster wheel at work, sometimes your creativity, spark, and productivity can suffer. Relaxing the mind feels good, and it creates the intellectual space to be able to work through challenges. But making space to just “be” and relax your mind isn’t something that comes naturally – it has to be learned.

One of the keys to a relaxed mind is to create some space in the day to do nothing. To let go of the relentless drive to do, create, and achieve, and to instead practice the art of being. At first glance this might sound like the opposite of being productive. Usually when we think about letting go and relaxing, we think about someone sitting on a couch, bingeing Netflix and eating some comfort food. And most likely, that’s how you have been coping with work – by waiting until the end of the day to comfort and soothe yourself.

But, that’s not what we’re talking about in this situation.

In this week’s Workplace Wednesday, the tip is to have some time in your work day when you aren’t filling your mind up with anything. It could be going for a short walk every day or finding a quiet space at work and sitting quietly for a few minutes. 

Being – as strange as it may seem – is one of the most rejuvenating things you can do. But being is remarkably difficult. If you’re really active, you’ll likely feel bored at first. Or restless. Your mind will tell you to get up and do something.

The key is to notice these impulses. Let them come and go, and don’t feel the need to act on them. These are just the residues of the old habit of constant doing.

Make some space to just “be” during your work day, even if it’s only a minute or two. Don’t fill the space with anything else. Don’t use it to plan or figure something out. Just get used to being. 

Learn more about how the Healthy Minds Framework can support your workplace well-being with Healthy Minds @Work or by downloading our free Healthy Minds Program app.

HM@Work Mental Health Naomi Osaka Workplace Wednesdays