You’ve felt a few times. It’s the uptick in heart rate as another assignment is added to the already towering pile on your desk. It’s the anxious bubbling in your stomach as you drive into work knowing you have a tough presentation to give. It’s the frustration when traffic is terrible and this is the one day you can’t be late.
It’s stress. And it can sneak in quietly through the back doors of your mind, or call loudly and announce it will be staying for the next few weeks with or without your blessing, but it’s here and doing what it can to prevent you from getting comfortable.
But you deserve to get comfortable, so we have compiled a few tips to help you reduce stress while still powering through the workday.
1. Get up early. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man– you understand. The best way to start a day is to start it early. Set your alarm a few minutes early so you can get your foot out the door sooner rather than later. It will put you ahead of the usual traffic jam and walking through the door with a cool temper.
2. Snack often. “Hangry” is defined as being so hungry that you become angry, and that feeling is known to make your head spin. The best way to avoid wanting to snap is to keep a few healthy snacks on hand. KIND bars, coffee in a sealed to-go cup, nuts or dried fruit, carrots– the options are endless so that the wait until lunch doesn’t have to be.
3. Make time to stress. It sounds counterintuitive, but scheduling time to write out your worries and woes is cathartic. Give yourself ten minutes when your stress is at its highest and pull out a piece of paper to hash it out. It can morph into a to do list, or simply stay a private entry reminiscent of a journal.
4. Take a lap. Excuse yourself and walk around the building, take a trip to the bathroom to stretch your legs, or stand up and touch your toes. If you have a desk job, then you spend most of your day sitting quietly in front of your computer screen. Both your body and brain need the occasional break; it’s said that 90 minutes of work means elicits a 10 minute break, but you can make that break as long or as short as you like so long as you take the break.
5. Become a planner. If you aren’t already, that is. Plan ahead anywhere from a week to months in advance so that you can anticipate deadlines, days off, and those trips to the mall where you need to buy a birthday gift for your estranged aunt. Knowing what’s coming also gives you the opportunity to say “no” to events you simply can’t work in.
6. Practice breathing exercises. Meditation and breathing exercises are constantly praised for their healing properties, and it’s not without good reason. Ten minutes at your desk can make the world of difference in your mood. Not sure how to begin? Greatist offers a must-read article on breathing exercises, how to perform them, and what level of expertise you should be before completing them.
7. Turn on some tunes. Listening to music is said to increase productivity and boost mood, so plug-in a pair of headphones and enjoy a few songs. Anything will do (yes, even death metal).
8. Make yourself at home. Don’t sit down at a drab desk. Instead, bring in a small plant or your favorite smelling candle (you don’t have to light it if your office has rules against that). Add photos of family or friends for inspiration and get cozy.
Stay aware of your stress levels. If you feel they are getting too high, then take a break. Make sure you are constantly listening to your head and heart because stress can, ultimately, bring about bigger health issues. Take a few of our tips and implement them into your day to start seeing a difference.
Need more ways to reduce stress? FeelXtra offers massages without you having to leave your workspace! Schedule an appointment today and feel the anxiety fade.