And breathe… How to de-stress at the office

When you’re working 9-5 it’s easy to get caught up with incoming emails, deadlines and the ever growing pile of paper in your inbox, but getting stressed out about things doesn’t help. Taking 5 every now and then is important if you want to stay productive (and sane) so here are our top tips on how to chill out and de-stress in the office:

how-to-de-stress-at-the-office

Rest your eyes

We all know how easy it is to get carried away with a project. You keep putting off that break until before you know it, you’ve spent 5 hours straight staring at a screen.

Firstly, this is not good for your stress levels, you need to take breaks to stay sane. Secondly, you could be doing real damage to your eyes: Anyone who spends over 2 hours a day in front of the computer has a 90% chance of developing Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

It’s vital that you take regular breaks from the screen to rest your eyes – even if it’s just looking away from the computer for a few minutes. Apart from helping your eyesight, frequent breathers will help you to de-stress and get some perspective.

De-stress Tip:

There are loads of free Apps specifically designed to remind you to take a break. Our favourite is EyeLeo which not only reminds you to take breaks to de-stress, but a cute little leopard shows you some simple eye exercises to avoid the symptoms of CVS.

Stretch

When you’re sitting at a desk all day it can be really easy to end up in that hunched over the keyboard position, with your shoulders somewhere up by your ears. The best method to combat this is either a full length mirror to see how ridiculous it looks, or you could try some simple stretches.

We’ll go with the latter: A good stretch will decreases tension in your body which will help you de-stress. Regularly stretch out your arms, wrists, legs, neck and spine and try rolling your shoulders to relieve some of that tension.

De-stress Tip:

Although there are offices that might be fine with you throwing some yoga moves, you don’t necessarily need to start doing Sun Salutations next to the water cooler. Check out these 8 poses for yoga at your desk, where yoga queen Kristin McGee has modified some classic yoga moves to make them a little more office-friendly.

Breathe

When it feels like there are a million and one things to do and you don’t know where to start, your boss is breathing down your neck, your team are dragging their feet and you can’t see the horizon from all that paperwork… Take a deep breath, and count to ten.

Taking a few deep breaths is probably the easiest and most effective way to de-stress when tensions are high (it’s not called ‘taking a breather’ for nothing!). Mindful breathing is also the basis for ancient Buddhist meditation, so take a few minutes to focus on your breath and practice a little mini-mediation at your desk.

De-stress Tip:

When your trying to de-stress it can be difficult to just suddenly stop everything to focus on your breath. Using a mantra or positive affirmation can really improve the process by giving your busy mind something solid to focus on.

Drink tea

Most of us think nothing of throwing back a few (or more) cups of coffee a day but if you find your stress levels going into overdrive it’s time to think about switching to herbal tea. The amino acid L-theanine, which is found in green tea is widely used to reduce anxiety, as is chamomile – both of which can easily be bought in most supermarkets.

Although caffeine does help you wake up and stay focused it also increases your heart rate, which isn’t ideal when you need to de-stress. In comparison to coffee which has about 60-120 milligrams of caffeine per cup, green tea only has 20 so it’s a great alternative when you need to chill out.

De-stress Tip:

Other lesser known tea ingredients such as Magnolia Bark, Rhodiola Rosea, Valerian Root and Kava Kava have all been used for centuries to relax, de-stress and lift mood. If you can’t face drinking herbal tea then consider taking the above in capsule form to help you de-stress.

Hopefully these simple tips will help you de-stress on a daily basis. They may not get rid of your deadline but it will at least help change how you deal with the office trials and tribulations. Got any more tips on how to de-stress? We’d love to hear them, leave your suggestions below!

Image Reference – Flickr Lucidio Studio

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