Young mother relaxing on the couch giving her brain a break.

Simple Ways to Give Your Brain a Break

Updated February 20, 2024 . AmFam Team

When you’re hard at work pursuing goals and dealing with responsibilities, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed from time to time. And, while it’s good to keep things in motion, it’s important you allow yourself to take a step back and give your mind a mental break on a regular basis.

Take time to clear your mind with one — or all! — of our tips on how to give your brain a break. You’ll find yourself refreshed and ready to tackle your next big task.

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Tips to Refresh Your Mind

You don’t have to count down the days until your next vacation to refresh your mind from stress. Follow these tips to recharge your brain:

Get Outside

Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is a great way to renew your energy and give your brain a break. Whether you go on a walk or just sit on a park bench in the sunshine, getting in touch with nature can be immensely soothing. Do you find yourself in front of a computer screen for most of the day? Make it a habit to get up and get outside. You’ll feel your energy go up and your brain will appreciate the mental break. Expand your social circle and ask a co-worker to join you

Be Active

Feeling stressed? Moving your body and being active can help alleviate mental fatigue. Head to the gym, go for a jog or simply take a stroll around the block. Your mind and body will benefit from the change of pace.


Technology, though a valuable resource to help you reach your goals and complete tasks, has a way of really draining your mental batteries. So, if you’re feeling a bit fatigued or depleted, take a step away from your screens and read a book, take a nap, or just enjoy some quiet time.

Woman closing her eyes and relaxing on her sofa


Though it may not be for everyone, meditation has some serious benefits — like allowing you to turn off the mental noise and reflect. If you’re a newbie, check out mobile apps like Headspace (Opens in a new tab) or buddhify (Opens in a new tab) to help guide you. It may take a little time to get used to being in your head and ruminating, but you might just find meditation helps you clear your head and refocus your priorities.

Treat Yourself

Allow yourself to indulge in a small luxury that brings you happiness every once in a while! Whether that’s enjoying a scoop of your favorite ice cream or taking the afternoon off to get a hot-stone massage, it’s ok to treat yourself. After all, a happier you is a healthier you, and learning how to give your mind a rest begins with a little of what you like!

Drink Water

The benefits of drinking water are plentiful, and if you want a quick way to boost your brain power, it may be just as easy as taking a sip of water. Your brain is greatly influenced by how hydrated you are, so not drinking enough of it can leave you feeling drained and fatigued. So, get up, take a walk to the water cooler and stay hydrated!

Keep a Journal

Nothing can be as motivating as working towards your personal dream goal. But in our busy world, it’s easy to forget about your dreams in the chaos of the day-to-day work week. One great way to keep your dreams top of mind is to write down your dreams in your journal.

No matter where you keep your dream log, make sure they are in a place that you can see them frequently throughout the week. A sense of calm will come from your written word as you keep your dreams fresh in your mind. Plus, there’s something about writing out your dreams too that makes you more accountable for them and simplifies the process of making them actionable.

Older woman painting a picture

Express Your Creativity

As children, most of us looked forward to recess. It’s literally a time for play and more importantly, a time to put all scholastic endeavors on the back burner as you focus on having fun.

Expressing your creativity as an adult is not just a great mental break, it’s recess for your brain! For some people, it’s as simple as a word search or a crossword puzzle. For others, it’s reading a few chapters in your favorite book. The important thing is don’t forget about your creative side — tapping into that creativity is a great way to give yourself a mental break.

Learn Something New

Is there something that you’ve always wanted to learn how to do but feel like you just don’t have the time? We all now have a wealth of information at our fingertips thanks to the internet. So, the next time you find yourself stressed out, why not set aside some time to take a mental break and learn a thing or two about something new? Your brain will thank you!

Couple in bed with their pet dog

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

We all know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, but far too few of us get that crucial seven to nine hours of shuteye a night.

Here’s one great way to boost your mental state, refresh your brain and help you get a good night’s sleep: Imagine doing a strenuous workout and then immediately diving right into a game of pickup basketball.  When your brain is low on sleep, this is what you’re asking of it — top performance from an unrested state. It just doesn’t work that way; you need to make sure your mind is fresh, and the good news is it’s as easy as ensuring you get enough sleep each night.

If you’re a person always on the go, knocking out goals and tackling new ones, it’s key to take the time to find ways to give yourself a mental break. By implementing these simple tips into your day to day, you’ll find yourself happier, healthier, and more energized!

Want more tips and motivation? Our collection of self-improvement tools and resources will help support and guide you along any dream pursuit.

This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.

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