10 Ways to Relax When You're Stressed at Work
You've got three meetings scheduled, one to which you are already three minutes late, dozens of unread, much less unanswered, emails and if you look close enough, there's a mysterious food stain on your shirt that you didn't notice while rushing out the door because your alarm didn't go off. Needless to say, you're feeling it — and it's not even lunch.
While a week away sounds glorious, and the perfect thing to calm the nerves, sometimes there isn't time, or availability, or the budget to do so. So to relieve some stress while on the job, work on some of these simple actions during those exasperating times and you'll be breathing a little easier.
Stretch it outStanding up for a quick stretch can relieve muscle tension and unhunch those shoulders. Hell, even if you can't break free from the shackles of your desk, an easy shoulder roll in both directions will help.
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Take a quick walkMove your legs and you'll walk the stresses right out. Some fresh air, the sun, just the simple act of getting away for a bit will benefit you.
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Munch on dark chocolateIt regulates levels of a stress hormones, all while satisfying your sweet tooth.
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Chew some gumWhether it's fruity, minty or bubblegummy, chomping on a piece of gum can get rid of stress. The chewing action can actually reduce anxiety and lower cortisol levels. And don't even get us started on what blowing bubbles can do. (Actually, nothing really. It merely adds pure fun and whimsy to your day.)
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Choose green tea over coffeeThere's a chemical in the tea that helps relieve anger. For good measure, throw in some honey. The sweet stuff provides compounds that reduce inflammation in the brain, fighting anxiety and depression.
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Savour an orangeTake a true five, even 10-minute break where you smell the fruit before you peel it, tear away the pith, separate the pieces and even look at the pulpy pieces before you pop them into your mouth. And if some juice runs down your chin and all over your hands, that's OK. There are worse things than having that relaxing scent stuck under your nails all day.
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Close your eyes and breatheSpeaking of short breaks, a few minutes of peace and quiet to just relax, close your eyes and concentrate on your breath can relieve stress and depression. It's also an easy way to regain calm and focus.
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Drop cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobesThere are major arteries right underneath the skin in those areas, so cooling them can help calm your entire body. Think of it as a pure perfume.
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Get organizedThere's something stress-inducing about a stacks of paper, open folders, sticky notes and pens everywhere. Take a few minutes to declutter, leaving only what you need on your desk. We can hear your sigh of relief already.
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Plan your next vacationLike those dreams of winning the lottery, there's nothing wrong with fantasizing about sand between your toes, the sound and sight of crashing waves, and balmy air blowing through humidity's victim, your frizzy hair. The only difference? Your next vacation is way easier to achieve than winning the lotto.