Before Breakfast - Second Cup: Schedule a mental health morning

A listener shares how taking a short break makes life feel more doable Learn more about your ad-choices at

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Welcome to before breakfast a production of iHeartRadio.

Good morning. This is Laura. Welcome to the before breakfast podcast. Today's tip is to take a mental health morning. We can all feel overwhelmed with our responsibilities from time to time and while taking a vacation is great that can involve a lot of time and effort and expense plus if you have small children a vacation probably won't involve a break from those responsibilities. They can be fun and lots of other ways, but it won't exactly be a break. So what can you do?

I like the suggestion from before breakfast listener Melinda who wrote in about what's been working for her. She calls her solution a mental health morning about once per month. I take 2 hours of paid time off in the morning to go to the gym. She says after working out. I take a long shower. I have a toddler and an infant. So this is especially luxurious and then I go to my favorite coffee shop and read for 30 minutes, then I go to work.

She said that this two hours of playing hooky from Life works better for me than taking a mental health day because I find when I take the whole day off. I fill it with cleaning or running errands or doing whatever I would have found other time to do anyway, because it had to be done the other perk she says is that by only using two hours per month. I only end up using three days of vacation per year at least enough PTO to take real vacations to she says that I found my productivity and creativity always shoot up on the week. I do this a big bonuses. No Mom guilt because I'm using time I would have been at work anyway.

I think this idea of a mental health morning is great for people with full lives. Sometimes taking a small break can have a big impact and will people with flexible jobs might be able to start late some mornings without it being an issue or take a long lunch after a big project without anyone actually noticing plenty of people's jobs do involve reporting to a specific place at a specific time. If you're that kind of job then officially designating a break is PTO and make sure that you honor that commitment to yourself if you have some paid time off backed up but no long vacations on the horizon. This might be a good way to use some of that time off that you're entitled to.

I also like that Melinda took her mental health breaks in the morning.

Certainly taking mental health afternoon and use PTO to leave early, but sometimes the day will start to seem so busy that you feel you just can't slip out and then the time is gone. If you can't control what time you leave work. Maybe you can control what time you show up. So that's the argument for a mental health morning and I'm not surprised at all that Melinda finds herself more productive after these breaks. No one's tank runs on empty taking time to relax and to do something fun is how we can all fill ourselves up.

Good today consider of a small break from normal life might make you feel recharged. And if you've ever used a small amount of PTO to take a break and do something fun. Let me know as always you can email me at before breakfast podcast at In the meantime, this is Laura. Thanks for listening. And here's to making the most of our time.

Hey everybody. I'd love to hear from you. You can send me your tips your questions or anything else. Just connect with me on Twitter Facebook and Instagram at before breakfast pie. That's be the number for then breakfast pod. You can also shoot me an email at before breakfast podcast at that before breakfast is spelled out with all the letters. Thanks so much. I look forward to staying in touch.

Before breakfast is a production of iHeartRadio from war podcast from iHeartRadio visit the iHeartRadio app Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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