Stress makes everything in life more difficult. It causes feelings of agitation, anxiety and depression. Stress can also take a toll on your physical health, leading to headaches, chest pain, fatigue and sleep problems. There are ways to destress during your workday. Often, small changes can make a big difference in how you think and feel. That can lead to improvements in your workday and your overall wellbeing whether you’re on or off the clock.
1. Sit Less, Stand More
Your body posture can affect how you approach your work. By using a standing desk, you can feel more alert and engaged. You may also have less stress, just because you have more energy to get through the day. If standing for the entire day is too tough, try it for just a few hours at a time until you get comfortable.
2. Take Exercise Breaks
Your brain can only focus for a certain amount of time. Stopping work every hour for a few minutes of exercise gives you time to recharge. Walk around the office or do some deep stretches or yoga at your workstation. Your body will feel better, and your stress level will go down.
3. Have Some Alone Time
Taking time to decompress both during and after your workday is essential. You need to break the cycle of too many thoughts—such as things not crossed off your to do list that day—that can lead to stress and worry. Try to take 15-30 minutes on your lunch break to get away from your colleagues and slow down. After work, take the long way home in order to get some space between work and home, or go for a quick walk or run right after leaving work.
4. Keep a Doodle Pad
Doodling engages the creative side of the brain. It allows you to think differently and become more relaxed. Plus, you might get some nice pieces of artwork to put in your workspace. Coloring books are another option to bring life to your work day, especially if you enjoy shading within the lines.
5. Bring Home to Work
You probably don’t want to get in the habit of bringing work home, but the reverse is a great opportunity to inject a piece of your life and personality into your workday. Keep pictures of your loved ones, pets, and beloved activities nearby. That way, after you’ve had a particularly tough meeting, you have a reminder of what’s great in your life. If you have a home project you’re looking forward to—a new exercise class, recreational sports league, or gardening—keep information about it close at hand.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “fake it till you make it?” When you smile, your mood can improve, even for just a moment. Smile during conversations with co-workers, when you order your coffee, or at any opportunity you have to create some cheer. The smiles you get in return will do a lot to improve your own mood and refresh your approach to the day.
7. Get Plenty of Rest
Stress typically leads to poor sleep. And poor sleep leads to increased stress. More stress can lead to poor nutritional habits. It’s a vicious cycle, but a Michigan State University study discovered that rest really is the answer. Getting a good night’s sleep may lead to better workplace moods, healthy eating, and better overall resilience during the day.
8. Stay Hydrated
Water helps you maintain good health. During a stressful day, it can also help you to cool down. Herbal tea can also have calming effects, easing your mind a little while still giving you that hydration your body craves.
It’s key to make your workday your own. Decide what works for you to feel better during those long hours. Over time, you’ll reap the benefits of lower stress, and feel more productive, healthier, and happier.
What stress-busters work for you? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.