When you work 9 to 5 (or 8 to 4 or all freakin’ day long) every day, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get stressed out from time to time. With deadlines, nonstop buzzing phones, grueling assignments, and noisy coworkers, you’d have to be non-human not to let the stress monster get to you every once in a while. I know for me, I don’t let stress affect me very often, but when it hits me, it hits me reallllll hard. So what are we to do? The only places you want to be right now are your bed, the beach or on a massage table, but you’re stuck in the office for at least five more hours. Doomed? Not just yet. Use these seven simple de-stressing tips and you’ll be back to your perky, happy, stress-free self in no time!
1. Remember to Breathe: Sometimes it’s just as simple as taking a few deep breaths once in a while. Breathe in, breathe out. There you go! Feel better? If you work in a small office, where people won’t judge you, take a few moments to lay down on your back and close your eyes (think: final relaxation phase in Yoga). It feels heavenly!
2. Have a large supply of tea on hand at all times: The best thing about my office is that we have a shelf fully dedicated to tea: black tea, green tea, pomegranate green tea, breakfast teas, you name it. And even better: We have an in-house tea expert who makes his own loose leaf tea right here in the office! Lucky me got to enjoy his creations two times this week, a chai tea and a combination of Jasmine Dragon pearls and a Rooibos. Purely delicious…and if that doesn’t tame stress I don’t know what will!
3. Bring a stress ball to work: Seriously, these little stress balls work wonders! If you don’t want to buy one, you can make them with a balloon and baking flour like the good old days in Girl Scouts. Crunching up paper, punching your desk (lightly) and chewing gum also helps. Just don’t smack your lips too loudly, and never punch a coworker!
4. Remember to Eat: Sometimes, when you’re ultra stressed out, you forget to do one of the most important things: EAT! Make sure to eat a few healthy snacks throughout the day (apple with peanut butter, string cheese, fresh fruit, carrot sticks and hummus), as well as a wholesome lunch. Stuck in the office ’til God knows when? Have a few go-to eats on hand, like dried fruit and nuts, bananas, yogurt, or some whole grain bread for emergency situations (i.e. deadline change).
5. Squeeze in an afternoon gym sesh or quick walk: I know lots of people who squeeze in a quickie gym session during their lunch break instead of heading out to Panera with the rest of the crew. Why don’t you do the same? Lunch can wait ’til your desk; your wellness can’t (unless you plan on doing push ups under your chair). If you don’t have the luxury of a nearby gym, take a mini stroll outside to get some fresh air and clear your head. The other day, I was extra stressed, so I took a simple 5-minute walk outside, and when I came back I felt MUCH better and much more productive.
6. Know When to Say “No”: Of course, it’s great to take on lots of tasks and help out a coworker, but when you are drowning in work of your own, it’s OK to say N-O once in a while, politely of course. Explain that you are extremely busy with your assignments at the moment, but can help out later during the day, or find someone else who has the time (and energy) to help out.
7. Change Up Your Location: If you work in a job where you’re always sitting (like me), stand up a few times throughout the day to get the blood flowing and your mind clearing. On the run all day bouncing from appointment to appointment? Do the opposite! Sit down on that enticing park bench for a few minutes or eat your lunch at the cafe (instead of in the street) for once!