It's natural for work to leave you a little stressed, but if you're a frazzled mess from nine to five, it's important to step back and relax.
Not sure how to loosen up? From doodling to redecorating, here are 13 easy ways to de-stress during the workday:
- Finish the tough stuff first. Try to get your most complicated tasks out of the way early in the day so that they're not looming over you for hours. Think of it as a "best for last" technique and you'll start to look forward to your afternoons.
- Make exercise a priority. Whether it's a quick walk around the block or a full-on gym session during your lunch hour, moving your body is crucial for your sanity. Aim to stretch every hour, too, in an effort to clear your head.
- Savor your snack. Rather than mindlessly munching on whatever snacks are handy, bring your favorite treat from home and take the time to relish every bite. Make it a healthy bite to really rev up your mood and energy.
- Connect with a friend. Socializing is one of the easiest ways to distract yourself from everyday anxieties, so call up a pal to chat for a few minutes. Try to avoid any work-related venting and stick to fun, tension-free topics instead.
- Congregate at the water cooler. It's important to engage with your co-workers on a day-to-day basis. Not only will kitchen small talk free up your mind for a few minutes, but it will also help you build positive relationships around the office.
- Take five to do something lighthearted. Were you the type who doodled during class? For five (and only five) quick minutes, draw, catch up on Instagram, or browse Pinterest to improve your attitude and recharge your batteries.
- Just breathe. Focus on nothing but your breath for a few minutes to open up your lungs and calm your mind. It doesn't need to be serious meditation — just 10 deep breaths to help you relax.
- Create a worry list. If your mind starts spinning with all your anxieties, try listing them out to sort through your thoughts. Come up with ways to tackle each issue, then force yourself to move on for a while as you cool off.
- Turn on mood-boosting music. A good playlist can do wonders for your spirit, so slip on some headphones and crank up the tunes. If anger is your issue, go for calmer sounds. Exhausted from all the stress? Choose fast-tempo songs to re-energize.
- Make over your work space. Your space can have a major effect on your attitude, so make sure that your desk area is both clean and decorated to suit your taste. Spruce it up with a fun print, colorful office accessories, and photos of your favorite places.
- Take your eyes off the screen. Save your spirit (and your eyesight) by looking away from the computer every once in a while. Pick up a pen and paper to list out your ideas or stare across the room to avoid an extra headache.
- Get troubles off your chest. If you can't stop over-analyzing problems A through Z, do whatever you need to do to refocus and move on. Try venting to a friend, emailing your mom, or — if it's nothing serious — chatting with a co-worker over coffee.
- Try a quick massage. Regularly take an afternoon break? Use that time to rub your shoulders or go all out and search salons in the area. A quick neck massage will release the tension buildup and help you get centered.
Do you have any tips for de-stressing at the office? Share them in the comments below!