How to Relax During the Workday - dummies

How to Relax During the Workday

By Richard Snyder, Wendy Jo Peterson

Taking a timeout during the workday is something you can and should consider to relieve stress and ease your adrenal fatigue. Many of the items that can help you relax at work take little or no time at all. You just need to actively plan and be committed to taking the time.

Time management is vital not only for making you more efficient and productive at work but also for building in breaks and “me” time.

Turn off technology and talk face-to-face

Although electronic communication and social media have revolutionized how people communicate, in some ways it has dramatically cut down on meaningful person-to-person interaction. E-mails, faxes, memos, and text messaging can be efficient, but they’re impersonal and often aren’t as effective as real, personal contact.

Twitter tweets and Facebook posts combine to produce information overload, especially first thing in the morning. That overload can be extremely stressful. Going to work only to sit down and open up pages of tweets and posts (and e-mails, too!) that need review and response can be a cause of mega-stress.

Consider taking a technology timeout. Set aside a time where you step away from anything electronic — that means stepping away from your computer and turning off your cellphone and any other electronic device you have.

Break the cycle by getting out of your cubicle and having real conversations with live people. (If you work at a bank or in retail, personal interactions are easier.) Walk around and say hello. See how you can foster a friendlier work atmosphere simply by making communication more personal.

Meditate for a few minutes

Meditation is a process that can take as little as a few minutes. The purpose of meditation is to center yourself. With the day-to-day goings-on at work, you can become scattered and unfocused. “Centered” is better than “scattered.”

At the bare minimum, perform breathing exercises sitting in your office chair a few times throughout the day. Fear and panic will go away, and you’ll have a less stressful workday.

How to use your senses to relax

Most people were born with five senses. You can use your senses at work (and at home, too) not only to cope with stress but also to promote overall health. Ways to relax with your senses include the following:

  • Music therapy: Listening to soothing and relaxing music during your workday can have a very relaxing effect. Research shows that music therapy can reduce stress, promote relaxation, and even reduce pain.

  • Aromatherapy: The scent of lavender oil at your desk at work can have a relaxing effect and reduce stress levels.

  • Visual observation: Visual observation opens up worlds to you. If you arrive at work early in the day or leave late, watch the sunrise or sunset. At lunch, lie down on a lawn (if there’s one nearby) and watch what goes on in the grass (you may see bugs, flowers, and marvelous growth patterns). Consider taking a 2-hour lunch and dashing to a local art museum or gallery.

    Don’t forget to include your sense of sight in the office! If you’re spending 8 hours a day staring at a computer, doesn’t it pay to look at something relaxing on your screen? Consider choosing a soothing scene as your screen’s wallpaper. If you’re able, add plants and some nature pictures to your office or cubicle.

How to make the most of your lunch hour

Many people just spend the lunch hour trying to catch up on the day’s work. They often forget that they even have a lunch hour. Bad idea. Realize that your lunch hour should be a transition point from the morning to the afternoon. You need to claim that time for yourself. It should be a time for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Take some time for meditation during your lunch hour. The noon lunch hour can be an invaluable time for getting in some exercise, too.