Although we may feel like zoning out through social media or a handheld video game when we need a mental break at work, those practices aren’t exactly condoned by the people you work under. But, let’s face it, you DO need a mental break from time to time to destress, refocus, and redirect the energy you need to be effective back into your work.
Relieving stress is incredibly important for your overall health, and you may have wonderful approaches to doing so when you are away from the workplace, but what steps are you taking to do so in the office? Workplace stress contributes to effectiveness on a job, and over 40% of Americans complain that stress at work is the top contributor to many of their problems. But what is being done to end this problem? Read on to see what personal steps you can take to help relieve stress while at work.
Dangers of Stress
You don’t need a doctor to tell you that stress is not good for your health. Consistent stressors lead to chronic headaches, high blood pressure, skin conditions, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and taxes the heart- to name a few. In the workplace this can lead to poor time management, an inability to stay organized, a lack of focus, and problems with communication. It also can become a dangerous hazard as workplace accidents generally occur to those who are suffering from a lack of sleep, low energy levels, and have trouble focusing.
Ways to Destress and Refocus at Work
Luckily, you can meaningfully manage stress at work whether it be a regular occurrence or something that you only feel during certain times of the month. The most important thing to recognize is that you are feeling stressed so you can better address the problem. With some regular practices you can also help keep these incidents from occurring as well through being prepared in advance with a more relaxed mindset.
Essential Oil Diffusion
Many essential oils provide mental stimulation through a calming effect to help you refocus and destress. Diffusing oil with a diffuser of some sort can create a relaxing, more peaceful environment. There are many essential oils for men that provide a more neutral or masculine smell than floral or fruity that are worth considering.
Even five minutes of controlled breathing can bring your mind and body back into balance. Try turning off or dimming the lights and sit still for a brief period of time. Allow your mind to empty, or let it wander- but don’t dwell on any lingering thoughts. Rather recognize them and allow the next thought to take its place.
Get up and move around. Many stressors cause anxiety and and raise the heartbeat, but you can take this physical response back into your control with purposeful movement. Take a walk around the block or office, climb the stairs to the next floor, or simply stand up and stretch out your body.
It’s easy to load up on fast carbs and sugars to get us through the day, but try to replace your regular snack food go-to’s with fresh fruits, hummus, and almonds. Also, if you love caffeine, try to avoid it at least 6 to 8 hours before your regular bedtime to allow it to leave your system.
Get regular movement in each day if you can before or after work. Get in a brisk 20 minute walk if that is all you have time for, or start a running program; whatever you do it will help improve blood circulation which aides in healthy brain responses.
Get Enough Sleep
Adults need 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted hours of sleep each night to be able to function properly. Otherwise our mental and physical responses become sluggish and problematic. Create a healthy sleep environment with proper exercise, cutting caffeine after certain times, and steering clear of technology an hour before bed.
Kick Bad Habits
If you smoke, drink a bit more than you should, or have trouble tearing yourself away from your screen, then you may want to try kicking the habit. Habits that are not required for day to day function often become more of a focus than may be healthy, and can be a source of anxiety throughout the day. As your body becomes stressed, due to physical exertion or mental stimulation, you may automatically feel like turning to these habits- but are unable to due to being at work. This only intensifies your stress.
Become an expert at kicking stress back to where it belongs and learn to better cope and approach your work with focus and attention with a few simple habits- GOOD habits. Creating a less stressful immediate work environment, using movement and mindful meditation, and introducing some regular physical activity and eating habits are all ways to influence a less stressful day.