Between the demands of careers and our lives outside of them, l’ll admit that I’m freakin’ out and just a little bit stressed. While stress is an inevitable part of life, managing stress is key in keeping us healthy and ready to take on new challenges.
Sure, taking a two-week vacation to the Cayman Islands to avoid all of our responsibilities sounds like a sufficient solution (oh how nice would that be at the present time) but in reality, finding more practical options to deal with our day-to-day stressors is what will truly sets us up for success.
If the phrase … “I’m stressed” has crossed your mind at all today or this week, then I’ve got you covered. Here are seven easy hacks to de-stress throughout the workday so that you can show up as your best, most efficient self (no plane, train, or automobile required).
1. Take a 10-minute class whilst on a work break
Exercise in any form can have a big impact on stress levels, and thankfully, you don’t need an hour-long class or a fancy gym to make it happen. Even taking 10 minutes out of your day between tasks or meetings to get your body moving, blood flowing, and endorphins pumping can help you get away from your computer, de-stress, and refresh.
2. Make a plan
Having a plan can be crucial when it comes to managing stress levels on a busy day. Take a step back from haphazardly jumping from task to task and look at the big picture of what needs to be done today, tomorrow, and this week. You might do better when you prioritise your easiest tasks first to warm up and gain confidence, or you might start with your hardest tasks first to align with your energy levels. Or maybe you prefer to batch similar tasks so that you avoid wasting the time involved with switching gears.
Whatever the best plan is for you, having a plan can help you work more efficiently and better manage your time and energy.
One of the best ways to recenter, refocus, and decrease stress levels is to meditate. If you’re not into meditating, it might not be on the top of your list of “ways to de-stress” but hear me out: Meditating is a game-changer when it comes to managing stress throughout your workday. Despite what may be popular belief, meditation is not about switching your brain off. It’s more about tuning into your thoughts, feelings, and body to gain perspective.
Practicing meditation can help you focus your attentions, address stressors, and free your mind of the distractions that may be bringing you anxiety. If you’re a beginner (or even a skeptic), consider adding a short 5 min meditation to your daily routine to help you de-stress throughout the day.
How about trying this Goodful 5 min mediation ,l like this one and it has over 242 K likes, so can’t be bad.
4. Declutter your workspace
I don’t know about you, but when my work area is a mess, I feel like a mess. A clean workspace can be beneficial to your mental health, while a cluttered workspace can have negative effects on your stress levels and ability to focus. Taking five minutes to tidy up your desk, declutter your work bag, and close the 48 open tabs on your computer can streamline your workflow and help you direct your attention where it’s most needed.
5. Listen to mood-boosting music
I love a good playlist for more than just an unexpected solo performance or dance party (though l do encourage mid-day dance sessions and/or breaking out into song whenever your heart desires). Music is a powerful tool that can have a profound effect on our ability to relax, concentrate, and even boost our mood. Whether you’re looking to zone in and increase focus or to improve your mood throughout the day, there’s a playlist out there with your name on it to help make your workday infinitely better.
6. Go for a quick walk outside (or the hall if that is what is available)
When you’re feeling bogged down and overwhelmed by tasks, focus on getting your steps in. Not only does walking promote the release of endorphins to stimulate relaxation and improve your mood, but it also gives you the opportunity to physically remove yourself from certain stressors. Walking has many benefits for the body and also the mind. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk, you’ll be able to return to your work with mental sharpness and an improved mood. Sign me up!
7. Connect with a friend or coworker
Call it comedic relief, venting, or the beauty of human connection, but nothing helps us de-stress quite like taking a few minutes out to talk with our work friends, best friends, significant others, or family members. Besides the fact that we enjoy the people we surround ourselves with, there’s science behind it: When we connect with people we love, the brain releases the hormone oxytocin, which can help reduce stress levels by affecting cortisol levels (our stress hormone). If that’s not a case for catching up with your bestie, l don’t know what is.
Remember that whatever the new year academic brings we must be our priority, (this then allows us to then look after and care for others). Take care and have a great year!