Considering we spend at least one third of our day at work it seems rather obvious we ought to be proactive about managing our state of wellbeing whilst in our workplace. But who has the time? And how do we do so without it looking like we’re being unproductive?
From my point-of-view, prevention is far better than trying to cure. Especially if it’s related to stress, as there is so much that we can do on a daily basis to help minimise stress levels rising. All it takes is a little discipline and action. Following are my top tips that you can start putting in to practice today. The cherry on top is that once you minimise stress at work, this can have a flow on effect throughout the rest of your life and overall state of wellbeing.
1. Remember To Nourish Your Body
When work demands increase and deadlines are on your doorstep, it’s very easy to forget to eat, or to grab something convenient on-the-go. If you know you’re heading in to a busy time of the week, month or year, plan in advance by packing healthy snacks to work. An apple. A bag of nuts. Home-made lunches. Or get to know your local area and make conscious food choices so that you are providing your brain and endocrine system (that produces hormones that regulates your mood, amongst many other things) with the fuel they require to function optimally.
2. Get Up And Move
Once every hour, get up and move your body. Give your eyes a brief rest from the computer screen and your mind a change in focus. Even if it’s only for a minute. A stagnant body can lead to a stagnant and compromised mind.
I like to keep a couple of little bottles of organic essential oils in my handbag and take a sniff throughout the day. Essential oils stimulate receptors in the nose which relay messages to the limbic system, the part of the brain that regulates emotions. So, if you are prone to stress and would like a little helping hand, arm yourself with a couple of bottles as a preventative measure to help influence your mood, and take a deep breath of pure plant extracts every couple of hours. Essential oils that are beneficial for helping to alleviate stress include neroli, palmarosa, geranium, patchouli, lavender and sweet orange.
4. Mindful Breathing
If you notice your stress levels rising, stop what ever you are doing and find a quiet place where you can practice mindful breathing, even if it’s in the bathroom cubicle. Sit down and close your eyes. Breathe in through the nose for a count of 5 seconds. Pause for 2 seconds. Breathe out with pursed lips for a count of 10 seconds. Pause for 2 seconds. Repeat With every inhale, visualise breathing in relaxation. With every exhale, visualise breathing out any and all stress that has been taken on throughout the day. With every pause, relax any tense muscles. Repeat 3 times. You’d be surprised just how effective this simple exercise of removing yourself from the situation and breathing out stress can help to de-fuse the stress time-bomb that’s about to explode from your mind.
Try it for a month and see for yourself if your work-life and overall sense of wellbeing improves.
written for my Wellbeing Expert page on Foxtel’s LifestyleYOU site1