Stress At Work? Don’t Be Anymore With These Helpful Tips

Times are difficult right now. Pressure is on at work. Timelines to meet. Objectives to tackle. Meetings upon meetings. Performance reviews.  It doesn’t stop. Day after day.

So here is the magic questions: Did you take a moment for yourself? A quick walk? Healthy eating habits? Yoga? Work-out? Meditation? Prayer>

If the answers to all above are simply silence – then that’s okay. It’s a sign to take control of your life and get back on track. I know I have to. So easy to preach – but difficult to put in practice. But as lay my emotions on the canvas, I think it’s important to go back to the basis and take advantage of control. Remember, that stress isn’t a cancer with no cure.  Here are a few simple steps that can help reduce anxiety, lower your blood pressure, keep you calm and collected while promoting tranquility.

1. Eat Breakfast
First. Get a good night sleep. Wake up with ease. Not in a rush. Take your time and get your morning all settled, because the relaxation period actually begins before you even step into the office. Therefore, start the day off with a healthy breakfast. If it can’t be healthy – that’s another topic. But apart from the breakfast being nutritious, eating breakfast forces you to slow down in the morning. Open your local newspaper; prepare some hot tea; eat; chew 20 times to help with digestion and control; pace yourself and you will find that you will feel better, calmer and fuller when you get to work – all without rush-hour anxiety in your system.

2. Get To Work Early
Once your breakfast and early morning routine is done, start trekking to work slightly earlier than the rush. This helps avoid the morning stampede and be the first one into the office to get settled for the day. With bypassing the standard traffic jams and the standard morning emergency phone calls and interruptions – you’ll be ahead of the game. All this lets you get more done in a calmer environment.  You will have a clear mind with clear thoughts and clear vision; resulting in increased productivity in the morning, you can go home earlier.

3. Meditate
There are tons and tons of articles, reviews and blogs about how meditation relaxes both your mind, body and soul.  This can be done at anytime, with no formal attire. All you need is to sit in peace and tranquility at home or at yoga studio to reap the benefits of meditation. If this concept of meditation and sitting in ultra quiet is foreign to you, then try some test mini-meditations. Start at home. Early in the morning. Clear your mind. Clear your thoughts. Envision being somewhere peaceful. Then take small, short, little deep breaths that eventually take you temporarily out of your physical aura and world. Go ahead. Try it. You have nothing to lose. And everything to gain.

4. Deep, Calm, Slow Breaths
It’s amazing how breathing is taken for granted. People running around and working in chaos. No moment of retreat. That’s why everyone says to take those moments of deep, controlled breathes – to simply calm down the current state of mind. If your doctor asks to do this when diagnosing your sicknesses, then why wouldn’t you do it to diagnose your busy life? Deep breathing shouldn’t be confined to meditation breaks either. Throughout the morning, day and evening, your breaths should be deep. Slow. Calm. Controlled. Every breath you take should be deep. However, sadly, many of us, including myself are quick, heavy and rushed breathers. So I thought to myself. how do you kill this habit? Simple. Just  practice deep breathing exercises. Everyday. At the office. At home. Watching TV. Yoga. Walking. Doesn’t matter. Just do it often to train your body to take full breaths.

5. Posture
Did you know your core is dependent all on your posture? How you sit? How you stand? How you walk? That is why your posture is key in any stage of your day-to-day activities. For example: when you are sitting in front of a computer for 5, 6, 7, 8 hours a day – focus on keeping your back straight. Tight. Aligned. If you have a hard time doing this, many invest into a comfortable chair.?  There are great alternatives from stores like Staples or the Canadian Back Institute.

6. Eliminate Clutter
Your office space is a direct mirror of who you are. Messy desk. Messy person. Organized desk. Organized person. Get the drift? The reason I say this is because I have seen numerous office spaces filled with cluttered desks which creates visual pollution and adds to existing stress levels. So here is my personal and business recommendation. For every item you have on your desk, big or small; sentimental or not; think about what other people say when they look at it. Just like Nike says: No Excuses.  Clean up. Audit your office space every day. You are representing yourself, your department and your company.  By doing so, it’ll feel good to come to a clean desk tomorrow and everyday after that.  Still don’t believe me? Then look at your home and see if you would be willing to live in a house filled with clutter.

7. Block It Out with EarPhones
This may or may not apply to some of you.  All because it’s dependent upon your working space. Perhaps your boss won’t like the fact that you are sitting at your desk with earphones/headphones on.  But when it comes to push and shove, and you are put into a noisy work environment, earphones/headphones are vital to our productivity, efficiency and sanity. It actually doesn’t matter what you are listening to. Whether you are listening to white noise, jazz, silence or even faking listening to something, just have them on to block ambient noise. The other great factor by doing so is that you will let others know not to bother you and that you are where you are to get some work done!

8. Play Your Kind Music
Look, #7 was a way to block out the noise. But make sure you block it out with something you can relate too. Don’t listen to Heavy Metal when it’s not your thing. Get your groove on with something you relate too. With music that inspires. Motivates. Relaxes. Gets your feet thumping. Gets your mind activated. Because in actuality, music helps you to relax. You just ensure you choose something you know will put you at ease. To take you away into another world where the noise around you doesn’t infiltrate your focus. Here is my take on Musiq.

9. Just Like Breakfast, Take Your Full Lunch Hour
Just like #1 was important – Breakfast.  Now is the time to make lunch even more important. And what I mean by lunch is by taking the time to go and sit down and have a proper, calm, easy lunch.  Take your time. And I mean not munching your lunch and swallowing it all down.  Keep a reminder. Get up and take your lunch inside the lunch room or outside and eat, read and relax for the entire lunch hour. And don’t leave early. If you don’t take your full hour for lunch – then take a nice stroll outside to help the digestive system. Read a book. Take a power nap. So many ways to enrich your lunch hour to make it worth your while during the day.

10. Siestas, Play & Have Fun
Everyone loves going to Mexico for the beaches, the sun, the food and the relaxation. But we all know we love it even more for the siestas you can take during the day. Nothing stops you from doing that where you are (permitting your work or personal parameters). After finishing your lunch and taking a power walk, take the rest of your alloted time and have a quick power nap. Although the .com days of nap areas/rooms at the office are extinct, you still got options. Your Car. Closed Office. Your Chair. The quick ride home. For every problem, there is a solution. Just make sure you set an alarm on your phone, recharge your body and jump right back into your daily routine.  Take time after your day to have some fun and play. Whether you are part of your community hockey, basketball or baseball team or even a volunteer at the local daycare or children’s play center – take that personal time to wind down. And if that doesn’t fly – then simply spend some quality time at home, with your spouse and/or kids. Play games. Watch TV. Play a video game or simply take a drive to the mall for some window shopping. Exit work things and let fun things enter your mind as you end your day.

A lot of these tips are just simple common sense like your mom taught you. And I know that if I had more time, I could keep writing tips upon tips – but then I would just have to write a book.  We all need reminders when we’re too busy to remember.

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