The kids won’t stop yelling, work is piling up, and your boss keeps hounding you because your reports are almost late.
It’s a blistering reality for many Americans right now.
After 18 months of a lingering global pandemic and juggling work and family life from home, most of us feel stress more than normal right now.
More than half of Americans say they fight with friends and loved ones because of stress, and more than 70% say they experience real physical and emotional symptoms from it.
And while stress is a normal part of life - sometimes even a good part of life! - it’s important to keep a handle on it long-term, as it can seriously interfere with your job, family, and health.
That’s why in recent years, many companies — from Zoom to Conde Nast — have started teaching mindfulness in the office.
A few minutes of self-care here and there throughout the day can significantly improve your focus, productivity, and mood. You do not need to block out a huge time gap in order to incorporate self-care into your workday!
Whether or not your company has its own mindfulness program or not, there are simple ways to reduce the impact workplace stress can have on your mind and body.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Take 2 Minutes for an Intentional Breathing Exercise
Just taking 1, 3, or 5 minutes out of your day to stop and breathe can be so beneficial to your stress levels and will help you relax to focus more and be productive. You can try this practice first thing in the morning before work or mid-day if you're feeling overwhelmed. The whole point is to just disconnect from technology and the things that constantly keep our attention, to focus inward on our own health and wellness!
- Set a time on your phone for 1, 3, or 5 minutes
- Close your eyes
- Place your tongue to your teeth and use that as your focus point
- Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth
- Imagine breathing clean air in
- Imagine breathing out any stress, anxiety, and business of the mind - pushing away any negativity or unproductive thoughts.
Do this sequence several times throughout the day for maximum results. We promise you'll feel better instantly.
2. Take a 5 Minute Stretch Break
How good does stretching feel?
Whether you have an ache in your back from constantly sitting down, or just need to release some energy, taking a 5-minute stretch break is a great way to break up the day and feel better almost instantly.
Try these 5 exercises from our Lower Back Stretching Guide:
- Hamstring Stretch
- Cat Cow
- Child Pose
- Windshield Wipers
- Kneeling hip flexor stretch
You can access the quick stretching guide here.
3. Take a Walk!
Have you heard the expression, "nature fixes everything"?
In between mid-day meetings, take a quick walk to grab some fresh air and a change of scenery. Try to put the phone, podcasts, and YouTube videos down -and simply walk outside with a clear head for 5-10 minutes at a time.
When you get back to your desk, you will feel rejuvenated and fresh to conquer the rest of the day ahead.
4. Substitute your Commute
While it may be tempting to spend the extra hour or two that you would normally spend commuting - in bed - use this time for a digital detox instead.
A digital detox is when a personal voluntarily sets aside time to completely unplug from electronics. Laptop, smart phone, television tablet… yep! They all need to go (temporarily).
Whether that means taking a walk without your phone or tablet, or meditating in silence, use the extra time wisely to disconnect from all of the electronics you own. Your mind will instantly feel better for it.
5. Disconnect From Your Phone
The average American spends 12 minutes a day checking their phone, and we imagine it adds up to a lot more than that for some of us.
At work, try being as present as possible to only focus on the task at hand.
Stop juggling emails while you're listening in a meeting.
Don't scroll through your phone while you're watching a video.
Practice being in the moment and only focusing on one task at hand. Your mind will feel less tired and more productive on each task.
We hope you enjoyed these tips and strongly recommend giving them a go next time you are at your desk.
Here at Paragon Body, we help companies provide mindfulness and wellness programs for their employees in order to reduce stress and increase productivity among teams.
To find out how we can bring mindfulness to your workplace, head over to our Get In Touch page here.
Until next time!