De-stress at work
Five techniques to help you stay cool and calm no matter what the office throws at you. Whether it’s stretches or gadgets, find the one that works for you
Lift your arms up on either side of your body and stretch sideways. Hold it for three breaths the repeat on the other side. This unkinks your spine if you’ve been hunched over your desk. Then, keeping your neck in line with your torso, slowly rotate at the waist to both sides alternately. Don’t swing your body, and don’t rush it. Then perch on the edge of your seat, fold your hands in the small of your back and arch backwards, lifting your chin and pushing your shoulder blades together. Take three slow breaths before straightening up again.
Taking your mind off your cares and worries completely, even if it’s only for a few minutes, works wonders. Something like juggling, which forces you to put all your attention on your movements, is great for letting go of tension. Don’t, however, be tempted to play games on your computer.
Dance it off
Put some music with a powerful beat that makes you happy on your headphones and chair dance – swivel from side to side, wriggle your toes and fingers, shake out your wrists and arms to the beat.
A Tidy Mind
A major source of stress for many of us is feeling overwhelmed by work, and that’s made worse by the feeling that you’re out of control, can’t find anything, and physically engulfed by papers. So make sure your desk is tidy, minimize clutter, put things you’re not tackling immediately away, so there aren’t piles making you feel like you’re not getting anywhere, and add something cheerful, like flowers or a picture of your favourite view, to remind yourself it’s not all about living 9-5.
Eat an orange
Make a mid-afternoon snack into a zen ritual, by really concentrating on peeling your orange, taking in the smell of the orange oil released by the tearing peel, blocking out the sounds and movements round you. Concentrate just on your movements and breath slow and deep. Savour each refreshing mouthful, knowing that vitamin C helps people overcome stress, as well as being good for a host of other things.
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