15 Great Ways to Relax at Work
Written by Chanpory of LifeClever.
Let me guess, you’re stressed out at work. Too much to do, too little time, yada, yada, yada. You already know the one million reasons for all that anxiety, so let’s get to the point.
Stress isn’t a cancer with no cure. A few simple steps can reduce anxiety and promote tranquility. Here are 15 tips to help you relax at work:
Relaxation begins before you even step into the office. Start the day off with breakfast. Aside from being nutritious, eating breakfast forces you to slow down in the morning. Eat, pace yourself, and you’ll get into work without rush-hour anxiety in your system.
Go to work earlier
After a delicious meal, avoid the morning stampede and go to work earlier than others. You’ll get fewer traffic jams, phone calls, and interruptions. All this lets you get more done in a calmer environment. With this increased productivity in the morning, you can go home earlier.
Countless researchers in fancy white lab coats have shown how meditation relaxes both your mind and body. Luckily, you don’t have to be dressed in an ugly leotard and sitting at a yoga studio to reap the benefits of meditation. Try mini-meditations. Short little deep breathing exercises that take you temporarily out of your work angst. Here’s a technique to try now.
Deep breathing shouldn’t be confined to meditation breaks. Every breath you take should be deep. Sadly, many of us, myself included, are unconscious shallow breathers. To kill this habit, practice deep breathing exercises often to train your body to take full breaths.
Invest in an ergonomic chair
You sit in front of a computer 8 hours a day. Isn’t it worth investing in a comfortable chair to ease your body? My two favorites are the Aeron and Freedom Chair. Don’t like these? Here are alternatives.
A cluttered desk distracts, creates visual pollution, and adds to your existing stress level. Each item on your desk, however small, is something you have to think about when you look at it. Don’t make excuses, clear your desk (and virtual desktop) now. Tomorrow, it’ll feel good to come to a clean desk.
In noisy work environments, headphones are vital to sanity. Even if you’re not listening to music, put them on to block ambient noise. It’ll also let others know not to bother you.
Of course, listening to music with your headphones on also helps you to relax. Pick something you know will put you at ease. As much as I like postmodern electronic noise, cheesy ABBA songs work like a charm.
Take your full lunch hour
Make lunch sacred. This means not munching at your desk. Take your lunch outside and don’t end your lunch hour early. Here are more ways to maximize your lunch hour.
Take a nap
Finish eating lunch a little early? Use the rest of your lunch hour to take a nap. While the dotcom days of nap rooms at the office are extinct, you’ve still got options: your car and, if you have a closed office, your chair. Pop in a pzizz track, set an alarm on your phone, and recharge your body.
If you have a hard time napping in the middle day, use the rest of your lunch hour to play. Take a walk, sketch, write in your journal, twirl, play hopscotch. Anything pleasurable as long as it’s not working and in front of the computer.
Turn off IM
Chatting is not working. It only distracts, divides your attention, and increases anxiety because of the strain of “multi-tasking.” Fewer interruptions during the day means makes it easier to maximize flow, the state of being totally focused in what you’re doing. Cut out IM and bring calmness back into your work life.
Turn off automatic email checking
Another culprit of stress is email. Instead of setting your email to check for new messages automatically, set it to manual. Check email only twice a day, and never ever when you first get into work.
Comic relief is a well known technique for relieving dramatic tension in movies, plays, and novels. It’s also handy during those high-anxiety moments at work. When you’re taking yourself too seriously, pop-up your favorite silly YouTube video and have a laugh. My favorite is Shoes.
Get a new job
If none of the above works, maybe its time to simply quit your job.
A lot of this is just common sense like your mama taught you. But hey, we all need reminders when we’re too busy to remember.
What stress-relieving techniques do you use at work?
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