It’s normal to find work stressful, and a certain level stress actually makes us more productive. But sometimes the humdrum of spending all day in a cubicle can lead to even more stress. If your stress level has moved from productive to frazzled, it may be time to incorporate small things throughout your work day to decompress.
If exercise helps you unwind, you might search online to see if there are classes near your work to take during lunch hour. You could search for pilates classes, barre, yoga, or whatever sparks your fancy. Not all of us have lunch hours, or can exercise in the middle of the day, so let’s explore some other options.
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Organize. Making your to-do list the night before, or first thing in the morning when you get to the office, will help you start the day with a clear head. You can allocate certain tasks for your most productive time of day, and others (like answering emails) in between meetings and other tasks.
Stretch. Okay, so you may not be able to get a full workout done, but you can go out for a brisk walk. Failing that, stretching at your desk can change the way that you feel and make your day feel better. If you work on the computer most of the day, remember to “take 20” – every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It will help relax your optic muscles and reduce the chance of tension headaches and tired eyes. There are also standing desk convertors and under-desk cycles that can bring some movement to your day.
Take a Sip. Take time for tea, and give yourself a moment away from your desk to relax. Don’t multi-task – just enjoy the time and center yourself. Also, be sure to drink water throughout the day.
Socialize. Instead of working through your lunch hour, socialize with colleagues over a meal, or have a short chat with someone you run into in the break room. Getting out of your own mind and having a laugh or two can ease the stress of the day.
Pump The Volume. Plug in your headphones and find the most motivational song on your playlist and turn it up loud. Having different playlists for different types of work – writing, reading, editing, brainstorming – helps you get in the mindset for productivity.
Massage. Just like we mentioned an exercise class close to work, you might also search for a local salon or spa. Book a 20 minute neck and shoulder massage on your lunch break. You’ll feel rejuvenated and ready for anything when you return.
What do you do to manage a particularly stressful day at work?
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