Sitting down for at least 8 hours at work is exhausting physically and mentally, but some might not notice the little things that contribute to the tiredness and stress. Make sure you take a break (as per your office allows) for quick fixes to relax your muscles and mind. After all, feeling stressed out won’t help you increase your productivity. Here are 10 de-stressers that you can do without having to leave your desk.
1. Headaches? Look away from the computer.
Eye muscles need to rest, too! One way to prevent eye strain is by taking a break every 20 to 30 minutes. Closing your eyes or staring at something far away for five minutes can relax and release the tension from your eyes. Make time for eye exercises during your break–here are five that you can try out today!
2. Do small exercises.
Minimal physical activity can make you sleepy. Wriggling your toes, doing neck rotations, stretching your arms upward, and moving your wrists can contribute to keeping you awake and alert, as they promote blood circulation and help avoid back strain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
3. Improve your posture.
Having a good posture affects the way you breathe. It also aligns your joints and improves your mental performance. To observe proper desk posture, keep your monitor at eye level, adjust your chair and keyboard so that you’re not hunched forward, and get a small lumbar pillow to support your back.
4. Stay hydrated.
Sometimes, a grueling day at work just makes you skip meals and drink less water. In order for your brain to stay sharp, it needs to remain hydrated. Stock up on water and juices to pump up your day. Coffee is great if you need the extra boost, but keep in mind that it’s a diuretic, so make sure to double up on liquids after.
5. Fix your desk.
Those pile of papers on your desk are affecting the way you think. Think about this way: clutter clutters your mind and will just make you feel overwhelmed. To streamline your thoughts, it’s helpful to organize and to keep things where you can see them.
6. Listen to music.
Add a soundtrack to your daily grind to make work more enjoyable. Plus, popping on a pair of earphones can block distractions and help you stay productive.
7. Stay offline.
As much as it is helpful, spending time online creates a lot of distractions. For those special tasks that require immense focus, try to disconnect from the internet, put your phone on silent or airplane mode, download browser extensions that block social media access for a couple of hours, and just get on in that uninterrupted zone.
8. Divide and prioritize tasks.
Multitasking works for some, but on days where just thinking about the stress of your work pile already gives you stress, it’s time to prioritize. Approach tasks one chunk at a time and only proceed to the next task once the previous one is done. Not only does it make you feel in control, it also gives you a sense of accomplishment because little by little, you see things get done.
9. Talk to someone.
It helps to just take a breather and get your mind off things, even for a few minutes. So talk to a co-worker or friend sitting next to you and chat about things nothing to do with work. Just make sure you don’t get carried away!
10. Take a break.
Give yourself a mental break. Observe your surroundings, listen to the sound of other people working. Drink that calming tea. Think of your next vacation. A couple of minutes off wouldn’t hurt, and might even boost your productivity. Just make sure you don’t overdo it!
Featured Image from The Devil Wears Prada courtesy of Warner Bros. F.E.