Much of adult stress tends to stem from the place we spend the most time at: work. No matter what field you’re in or where you’re employed, stress on the job is pretty much inevitable. Whether you’ve got a big report to finish for a deadline or a major pitch to present in front of many people, there are ways to ease your anxiety in the meantime. Ahead are nine tips for centering yourself when you’re at the office.
1. Listen to calming music.
Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I put on my headphones and turn on meditation music. It may sound silly, but the breathy notes of a pan flute or the soft taps of a piano chord instantly slow my heart rate. A relaxing playlist can also do the trick.
2. Snack on stress-reducing foods.
Certain foods are great for de-stressing, including avocado, oatmeal, almonds, blueberries, and oranges. Snack on a few throughout the day, particularly when you need a break.
3. Go for a walk.
If you feel like you’re on the verge of screaming (it happens!), let your boss know you need to go on a 10-minute walk to clear your head. Even if you can’t leave the building, just getting away from your desk is beneficial. And make a conscious effort not to think about your impending tasks during your walk.
4. Take a YouTube break.
Rather than scrolling through Facebook or Twitter to take your mind off your troubles, take five to watch a funny YouTube video from a favorite channel. Trust me, you’ll feel a LOT better than if you were to browse through all your friends’ perfect vacation pictures on Instagram.
When you just want to cry from the pressure, tap into your inner meditation guru (if you have an imagination, you have one!). Close your eyes for 30 seconds and pretend you’re in a calm place, which could be a field of flowers, the ocean, or even your room. Focus on the sights and sounds of this place, and work on slowing your breathing.
6. Drink hot tea.
It’s been proven that green tea reduces stress, and just having a hot drink in your hands will calm you down. Plus, it has a lot less caffeine than coffee, so you won’t experience any jittery side effects.
7. Keep a stress ball handy.
I have two stress balls on my desk for those moments when I really need to squeeze something and get out my nervous energy before the stress manifests itself another way (like compulsive leg bouncing). Luckily, they’re pretty cheap and they don’t take up much space.
8. Call a friend.
If you’re having a particularly rough day, consider stepping out of the office and giving a close friend or family member a call. Sometimes you simply need to hear the voice of a loved one to know it’s going to be okay.
9. Give yourself a massage.
Throughout the day, I dab a little peppermint oil on the tips of my fingertips and massage my temples. It’s an INSTANT pain relief for any head tension I’m feeling, and the smell of the oil provides just the concentration boost I need.