We all know when we’re stressed at work we don’t work as well. Try a few of these for a better workday! Get even more tips here!
1. Stop multitasking. No wonder we’re all mega-stressed when we’re replying to text messages, answering emails and speaking on the phone simultaneously! Not only is multitasking totally inefficient, but it’s also linked to the increased production of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin) that can send your body into panic mode! So chill out and take things one step at a time.
2. Doodle. You may associate doodling with being bored but doing it in your spare moment can be a great way to relax. When we’re stressed we can get caught in our thoughts but by doodling you’re engaging the creative upper right side of your brain which will give you the space you need to calm down and find a fresh perspective.
3. Support someone else. Moving your attention outside yourself can help take the pressure of stressors in your own life and supporting others can also give you valuable insight for how to redress your issues. Seeing the impact you make in that person’s life will also boost your self esteem which in turn, can reduce stress.
4. A spoonful of honey. Mother nature’s delicious treat has compounds that reduce inflammation in the brain which can help improve a low mood. Bee happy… (sorry, couldn’t resist).
5. Stretch it out. Stretching has been linked to relaxation and stress relief as well as a greater sense of wellbeing. Its also incredibly satisfying.
6. Light some candles. Candlelight is known for its calming effects and (even better) scented candles have aromatherapeutic properties which can improve well being. Watching the flame of a candle can also be a great starting point for meditation. So sit back and enjoy the glow!
7. Try the Naam Yoga Hand Trick. Using your fingertips, apply pressure to the space between the knuckles of your index and middle fingers. This creates a sense of immediate relaxation by activating a nerve that loosens the area around your heart (don’t worry, it’s not as life threatening as it sounds).
8. Have a banana. When we’re stressed out our blood pressure tends to rise but the potassium found in bananas can help to regulate this. Stress can also leave us feeling depleted but bananas give you a replenishing energy boost that will get you swinging in no time.
9. Take a break from social media. It can seem like scrolling your social feeds can be a nice break to our workload, using it too often can have adverse effects. It can lower your self esteem, take you away from the moment and bring drama into your life. All of these factors massively contribute to stress so take a break!
10. Say no sometimes. Being a ‘yes’ person isn’t easy. People pleasers listen up!…saying ‘no’ doesn’t mean you’re selfish or rude. Practicing saying ‘no’ will help simplify your life and give you the valuable time you need to relax with yourself.
11. Stand tall. Did you know good posture can actually make you feel more in control and less anxious? Power poses of confidence (I like that hands on the hips superhero pose myself) can actually decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, so stand proud and your mood will follow.
12. Make your desk your safe haven. Your workspace should be your sanctuary for peaceful relaxation so make it that way! Get some small plants, declutter your space and why not make a personalised noticeboard of quotes that inspire you, pictures, photographs…
13. Take your brain on holiday. As much as we’d all love to be sunbathing in the Caribbean right now, most of us our constrained to mind wandering instead. But daydreaming can help you solve stressful problems, relax you and inspire creativity. So get lost in your thoughts and see where your mind takes you!
14. Drink more water. Even slight dehydration can lower our moods and it can increase levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Dehydration can also cause your body to stop functioning properly which can result in anxiety too…plus a trip to refill your bottle gets a few extra steps in!
15. Learn to forgive. Everyone makes mistakes, that’s how we learn. Bullying yourself, mulling over petty grievances and begrudging others is only gonna hurt you so start forgiving yourself and other people and you’ll find there’s a lot less to stress about!
16. Turn up the music and dance. Combining music and dance can help build self esteem, lift your mood and reduce anxiety. We know you’re at work but a song or two at your desk could be just what you need! Dancing may also help express emotions and experiences that are difficult to communicate in words alone…might we recommend- the 80s to today?
17. Body Clench. This relaxation exercise may make you look a bit constipated but give it a go! Starting with your toes, go up through your body, gradually clenching each of your muscles right through to the tiny ones in your face, keep your whole body clenched, hold and then release to let go of all the tension. Feels good, right?
18. Drink hot water. Learn from the tradition of Chinese healing and drink a cup of good ol’, clean hot water. Ok, so it may not be as delicious as a hot chocolate but it will cleanse your system of toxins that have accumulated in the body and may be causing tension. You could try adding some lemon for flavor, vitamin C and its mood enhancing properties (e.g. reducing anxiety).
19. Write a card for someone you care about. Whoever it is I can assure you that they’ll appreciate a card letting them know you’re thinking of them. Random acts of kindness like this have beneficial effects for both you and the person at the receiving end. You can feel good about making someone else feel great and performing these acts has been linked to helping socially anxious people feel more positive.
20. Sleep well. Whilst stress can interfere with sleeping, sleeping can also relieve stress. So use some of our chilling out tips to help you relax before bed and ensure that you’re spending a third of your life in bedtime bliss…zzz…