It has been a stressful time in our country this year. Even if you were trying to hide from it it was in your face. Now it is getting to be that time of year where everyone has some stress. There is something about the holidays and the change in season (The lack of sun light) that seems to ramp it up. I have come up with some hints and suggestions on ways to handle your stress.
Massage one way to handle stress.
Seeing we spend 40 or more hours a week in the “office” these are some ideas to help chill out a bit while at work.
- Schedule breaks: We get buried in a task and end up tight and tense. Frequent mini breaks are a great way to give your brain, eyes, and body some free time and movement.
- Walks/walk groups: Get some coworkers together and go for a brisk walk during a break. The comradery is good for the soul, helps motivate you to get up and move, and is good for the body.
- Desk stretches: Neck stretches while on a phone call can be done. On a mini break stand up and touch your toes. It helps break repetitive movement patterns which can cause tightness and pain in areas of the body.
- Essential oils: There are some studies that essential oils can help relax and invigorate you. A diffuser in the office smells nice and has a benefit.
- Deep breathing exercises: You feel your shoulders up by your ears and that you are about to blow your top. Close your eyes and fill your lungs. 10 deep breaths will help calm you.
- Healthy eating: Pack your lunch and snacks. Don’t go to the vending machine. I never carried money with me to work just to help me avoid those pop tarts and m&m’s. Eating healthy will help manage your blood sugar. Making poor choices can have your blood sugar bouncing up and down causing you to feel icky adding to your stress.
- Don’t eat at your desk: Getting away will help you clear your brain along with helping with digestion. When you eat in front of your computer or while working you will eat more than you should. Go to the break room with some friends kibitz and relax.
- Drive home: No phones, no news, and play some soothing music. Driving during rush hour is stressful enough why add more stress. Use this time as me time to chill out the best you can.
What can you do when you are out of the office? Here are a few ideas.
- Massage: There are studies showing that massage on a regular basis helps with stress, depression, and anxiety. The more often the better results. 30 minutes twice a week have shown the best results when someone is dealing with chronic stressful issues. Even once a month for a mildly stressed life can help.
- Regular exercise: Whether you exercise in a group or solo, exercise is great at managing stress. It is a fantastic stress reliever and having a healthier body helps to deal with the negative effects from stress. Find something you like and stick to it. The only perfect exercise is the one that you do.
- Meditation: “As you gain experience with meditation, it becomes easier to more objectively deal with stressful thoughts as they arise and to be impacted much less negatively by the fear and anxiety that those thoughts tend to invoke. Ultimately, this helps you to find your center to meet everyday challenges with greater clarity and effectiveness.” http://www.fullspectrumwellness.com/meditation/
- Time away: Nothing helps reduce stress more than getting away from the stress. A long weekend, a vacation or even a personal day can have benefits.
- Turn off electronics: TV, computers, phones….the constant barrage of information. Everyone and everything is connected. It is constantly in your face and there never seems to be anything happy (well other than an occasional puppy or cat video). There seems to be no getting away from it. But there is. It is called an off button. Shut down. Have family dinner, quiet time reading a book, a car ride with some good music. It can be done and you will feel better. The less electronic especially right before bed will help you get a better night’s sleep.
No one can avoid stress. I wish it was possible. Having tools to deal with it can be a life changer. So take my little ideas and pick your favorites and see if they help. I hope to see you here more for the best stress reliever there is 🙂