As technology increases, so does the typical work week. The average worker in the United States works almost 60 hours a week, leaving little time to relax, unwind, and relieve stress. But relieving stress doesn’t require more than a few minutes of your time. Here are a few ways to reduce stress at work without missing a beat:
· Leave the office for lunch and enjoy your meal at a park. Try eating outside once or twice a week and let the fresh air rejuvenate you.
· Breathe deeply. When we are anxious, we breathe shallow. Take a few moments during the day to concentrate on breathing deeply. And as you breathe out each time, smile.
· Listen to quiet music. Soft music, instrumental music or sounds of nature music can help you relax.
· Stretch. Learning different ways to stretch and flex relieves tension in many different areas of the body.
· Laugh. Read a comic strip, a funny quote, or look at funny pictures. Laughing releases natural tranquilizers, pain relievers and endorphins, all which will help relieve stress.
· Play with a stress-relieving toy or game. Mini-basketball hoops, dart boards, stress balls, or other handheld games can lower tension and relieve stress after a few minutes of playtime.
· Move around. Every once and a while, get up and move around. Instead of sending an email, IM, or making a quick phone call to your co-worker down the hallway, get up and go talk to them. Take a short walk around the office. Or get a glass of water from the water cooler.
· Find a massage partner. Massage is a great tension relieving technique. Offer a co-worker or good friend a five minute shoulder or neck massage and switch places five minutes later.