Archives for posts with tag: wellness tips

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More than eight out of ten Americans report being stressed out about their jobs for one reason or another.  And then there is the added stress that is inherent in our personal lives. Stress can lead to physical harm as severe as heart disease or diabetes, so it’s important that we learn how to keep it in check—especially in the office. Everyone has their own way of managing stress, but if you find yourself struggling, take a look at some of the ideas below on how to introduce some restoration and relaxation into your daily routine.

1. Yoga

It’s not just for soccer moms and spiritual soul searchers – yoga refocuses the mind, activates the central nervous system, and improves digestion (among other benefits), while being a great workout, to boot. Do a quick Google search for yoga studios around your area to find one that has a class that will cater to what you’re looking for. If you just want an hour all to yourself where you can focus on your breathing and tune out the rest of the world, maybe try a relax and restore class. If it’s harder for you to shut off your brain, go for something that will challenge you physically to allow you to block out external factors, like a Vinyasa flow or a heated power class. (And if you prefer, there are some great yoga instructors on YouTube for you to try in the privacy of your own home.) Regardless of what you choose, there’s guaranteed to be something that will float your boat and give you that escape you need to destress.

2. Deep Breathing

Taking a page out of yoga’s book, deep breathing is one of the quintessential stress management techniques. Since stress raises our heart rate and puts additional strain on the heart and nervous system, it’s important to make sure we can regulate that heart rate when the pressure really starts to kick in. The next time you’re battling a tight deadline at work or need to manage a high conflict situation, take thirty seconds to do some deep breathing exercises. Inhale for a count of five, and then exhale for that same five count. Or, imagine your torso is a glass of water—your inhale fills the glass from the bottom (your lower stomach) all the way to the top (the top of your chest). The exhale empties it. Even after just a few breaths you’ll notice your heart rate starting to slow, reestablishing a sense of ease and calm.

3. Stay Present

If you’re anything like me, part of the reason you’re stressed is because there are so many things going on in your life. You’ve got twenty things to juggle at one time for work, ten different social media outlets that you follow in your spare time, friends and family to spend time with, household chores—the list goes on and on. That leads to a lot of multi-tasking, which I could argue creates some of the stress we feel every day. Harvard conducted a study in 2010 that showed people spend 46.9% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they are doing, and that this generally makes them unhappy. A wandering mind is not a happy mind, nor is it the most productive. Staying present not only allows you to devote your entire self to any activity, but it also prevents quick trigger reactions that could have negative results. So when you find yourself in a high-stress situation, take a step back, analyze the situation, do some deep breathing for a minute or two, and then react. You’ll probably find yourself making much more calm and calculated decisions as a result.

These are just a handful of ways to easily introduce a little more relaxation into your daily life, and there are countless others that do the trick just as well—maybe better! Let us know how you manage stress in your life in the comments.

Move.

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Exercising daily increases energy and wards off fatigue. To help fight off the afternoon slump, try incorporating some seated stretches into your day. Opt to get up from your task chair and talk to a coworker vs. emailing her or take the stairs instead of the elevator.  You can also try printing your next document to a different printer and get your blood flowing. Keeping your body active during the day also keeps your mind active.  Lastly, moving helps elevate tense muscles and that pain in your neck, keeping you focused on the task at hand.

Hydrate.

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One of the biggest fatigue fighters is hydration. Water helps your blood carry oxygen throughout your body. Water also makes up a large portion of your brain. Stay alert by hydrating your body and, subsequently, your mind.  Keep hydrated at work by opting for water over soda and always having a water bottle nearby. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women intake 91 ounces of water and men intake 125 ounces of water in food and drinks each day.  So, grab a bottle of water because staying hydrated doesn’t just help your productivity; it also helps your overall health.

Put your phone away.

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Hide your cellphone. Stick it in a desk drawer or your bag and leave it there until breaks. Texts, social media, and email have a way of sucking you in. If you want to meet that next deadline without staying late, hide your phone.

Snack in moderation.

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I think we can all relate to stuffing ourselves silly with a holiday meal. It usually makes us sleepy and lethargic. The same is true of over snacking. Always pack a portioned snack. Bringing a whole bag of chips (or any whole packaged item) thinking you’ll just eat a handful is a sure fire way to over indulge. Stick to light snacks at work like a piece of fruit or some crunchy veggies. Anything too filling and dense can have your head hitting the keyboard before you know it. And when you’re asleep, you are certainly not productive.

Earbuds.

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If your job allows, have a pair of earbuds handy. Listening to peppy music while you work can increase your productivity by keeping you motivated and helping you stay focused. Earbuds also help drown out loud conversations going on around you, ringing phones, or outside traffic. Whether it is a music boost you seek or the noise blocking benefits of earbuds, they can certainly improve your work productivity.

What are your go-to tips to stay productive at work?

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