In a 2011 Study from the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers reported feeling stressed on the job and about half of workers felt they needed help learning stress management. In a similar survey in 2000, 65% of workers reported stress-related health issues. We all get stressed from time to time, and clearly work tends to contribute to that. If not addressed, the stress you experience can take a serious toll on your mental and even physical well-being. So before you ghost your job, sell all of your worldly belongings and run away to backpack Europe indefinitely… try some less extreme ways to alleviate stress from the daily grind.
For some of us in the office, music can be extremely cathartic. A personal recommendation? Anything from the 70’s. De-stress with some disco, listen to some funk to snap yourself out of a funk! The one thing that has never let me down: the ABBA power-hour. Though you may need headphones for this one because I’ve been told not everyone wants a full hour (or two) of Dancing Queen. (I was surprised, too.)
If that’s not your thing, try some of these other ways to unwind right in your office:
Deep Breaths. Mindful breathing is one of the best ways to reduce stress. By taking your focus off stressors and concentrating on how you’re breathing and how it affects your body, you can help to reduce tension in your body and relieve stress. Personally, if I can calm my breathing the rest of my body follows suit.
Try some of these techniques:
Walk it out! Get up from your desk and take a quick 5 minute walk. Chat with your coworkers, or dip outside really quick to soak up some much needed Vitamin D (Zyrtec in hand, because it is springtime after all) Getting away from a screen and getting some fresh air will do wonders, even if it’s only for a little while.
Stretch the stress away! Try this easy 3-minute yoga session from the National Health Service UK to check-in with your body and relieve some of that tension. Your lower back will thank you!
Splash some water on your face! No, it’s not just something you see in movies! Hydrotherapy is the application of water to the body surface to help it heal and feel better. How does it work? According to Dr. Peter Bongiorno, “The wet and cold causes our surface vessels to vasoconstrict (tighten up) making blood move from the surface of your body to the core, as a means to conserve heat. Not only does it conserve heat, it also reflexively bathes the brain and vital organs in fresh blood. This movement will bring nutrition, oxygen and also help gently detoxify the area.” Just make sure to dry off before heading back to your electronics!
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try some of these techniques to help provide some quick relief. Stress can be a part of life for everyone, but by taking time for your physical and mental health it can certainly be manageable. Find what works best for you!
Sources for the featured techniques in this article, as well as more stress reducing techniques: