It’s 8am, no birds are chirping at your window, the sound of your alarm is haunting you at a distance and all you can do is look at the clock grudgingly while throwing the covers over your face. You’ve hit the snooze button about three times now and know that if you close your eyes one more time, you might as well just call it a day. It’s time to get up and get going, but these days the stress that accompanies being a busy business owner hard at work has really got you dragging yourself to the office.
We’ve all been there. Stress happens. And we’re here to tell you, that you’ll be ok. Because we’ve compiled a list of things you can do on a quick 10 minute break that will lower your angst and empower you to do remarkable things like putting your business on the internet.
Check out the 11 best ways to de-stress at work:
01. Go for a short walk
Take a stroll outside and breath in that fresh air goodness. Remembering that there is life outside the office walls will help to ground you and to release the pressure you place on your work. What’s better is that when you don’t put so much pressure on your job, you can actually relax and work gracefully. Walking also releases your feel good endorphins to calm down your nerves and relax your mind. There’s nothing like connecting with nature and feeling the sun on your skin to boost your mood – even if it’s just for a couple of minutes
02. Declutter your workspace
A cluttered space is a cluttered mind. Simplify, beautify, and re-energize your space. Create new energy by rearranging items and making them aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Remove any old post it notes that have been lingering around and erase any reminders on your dry erase boards that are no longer relevant. Dust off, wipe down and put things back to their designated space and throw away or store anything that you do not need. You can even invite the healing properties of nature into your workspace by adding flowers, plants, or succulents to your area. The goal here is to look at your desk and feel relaxed and at ease.
03. Talk to someone
Chit chat with your coworkers, call your mom, text a friend. Let it out. Vent if you need to. It’s good to get things off your chest and to express why you’re feeling overwhelmed with your work. Bottling things up will only make you want to explode. Find someone you can trust, and open up about how you feel. They will likely help by putting things into perspective and seeing the situation in a way your clouded mind no longer can.
04. Munch on something
Especially chocolate. Studies show that eating dark chocolate every day releases your bodies stress hormones. In fact, a study found that eating as little as an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed. So not only does it make your heart happy but it makes your mind and body happy too. Enjoy it, close your eyes and savor the moment. If you’re not into chocolate, grab a bag of chips or opt for a more healthy option like fruits and nuts.
05. Give your body a stretch
All the stress can make your body so tense and rigid. And what’s the opposite of tense and rigid? Flexible. It’s truly a metaphor for life. When you’re rigid and stiff, everything can throw you off center and create unbalance in your life. So try your best to give your body a nice five minute stretch to release that tension. While seated comfortably at your desk, create some space to do some neck and shoulder rolls. Take your right ear to your right shoulder, pull your chin into your chest, left ear to left shoulder, and then roll your neck all the way around. For your shoulders, sit up nice and tall. As you inhale roll your shoulders up to your ears and then exhale to roll your shoulders down and away. Most tension lives in the shoulder and the neck and by doing these simple stretches you’ll feel physically more relaxed.
06. Reorganize your emails
If the first thing you see when you open your work computer is a mailbox filled with unread emails, you may just be setting yourself up for failure. Your inbox can actually be a huge factor in your stress levels at work. It’s important to take the time to organize your emails and get a handle on the information being sent to you everyday. You don’t want to continuously look at your inbox as this will only build up your anxiety. Instead, set aside time to go through your emails and make sure that by the time you are done your inbox is at 0. Also, take this time to unsubscribe from any newsletters you do not read and any email groups that you do not need to be a part of. You will be surprised at how a little organization goes a long way.
07. Find inspiration
There’s something very therapeutic about watching inspirational videos or reading inspiring quotes. It’s feel-good food for thought that lifts your spirits and enhances your mood. Really great inspirational videos or quotes will get your mind back on track. If you’re reading this because you’re currently stressed out, we have a great one for you: “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.” Glenn Turner.
08. Plan something fun
Get your mind off of work entirely and plan your next social plan, date or vacation. Have something in mind for your next weekend getaway? Start searching for activities and spots you want to check out while you’re there. Keep in mind that you don’t actually have to have a concrete plan or flights booked in order to entertain a vacation idea. Simply knowing that you’ll have time set aside to relax in the future will give you something to look forward to and at the very least put a smile on your face. Remember the last time you were sad while planning something fun? Neither do we. And happiness reduces stress 110% of the time.
09. Isolate yourself
It may sound counterintuitive but this truly works. This is especially true if you work in an office setting. A study on workspace satisfaction found that noise and privacy loss identified as the main source of workspace dissatisfaction in open-plan offices (Kim and de Dear, 2013). To combat this, find a space in your work environment where you can be alone and work from there for a bit. You’ll have fewer distractions and more time to truly focus on your tasks at hand. This is a great time to tackle projects or work that requires your full concentration. Nothing will de-stress you more than actually getting work done.
10. Listen to music
Drown out the world and enjoy the happiness that comes from listening to your favorite tunes. If you’re feeling overly anxious and jittery, play music that is calming and soothing. In fact, numerous studies have shown that relaxing music significantly decreases cortisol levels (a steroid hormone that regulates your bodies response to stress and danger). For an extra mood-boosting kick, tap and sing along to upbeat music that puts you in the groove.
11. Play with your furry friends
If you’re fortunate enough to work in an office that allows pets you are, well, very fortunate. Scientist have found that interacting with pets while you work actually increases productivity and decreases stress levels. The next time you see a furry friend roaming around the office, walk them, pet them, or play a quick game of fetch. Giving just a few minutes of your day to play with the dogs around the office will have you feeling energized and ready to get back to work.
Feeling relaxed and ready for productivity?
Get back to your To-Do list now. :)