We've all been there - the feeling of life is hard, work is challenging, it seems like there’s always something else being added to the pile to keep you down.
And we all have to deal with longer-than-normal workdays, whether it’s the result of a staff shortage that the team promised to solve since forever, requests from the boss or simply done to help prepare for an upcoming meeting or presentation.
Long workdays with heavy workload leads to workplace anxiety, affecting our health physically and mentally. As stressful workdays are sometimes not avoidable, it's very important to know about the effective ways to relieve stress and stay calm even during long workdays.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of the top 8 tips to relax and get through a long workday!
1. Drink anti-stress tea
Nothing helps calm you down quite like drinking a relaxing cup of tea, lots of herbal teas and green teas contain L-Theanine, which has proven to reduce feelings of anger and anxiety.
Some of the best teas to relieve stress and stabilise your mood: green tea, peppermint tea, chamomile tea, lemon balm tea, passion flower tea, and rose tea. Instead of refilling your coffee for the day, consider trying the tea recommended above when things get hectic at the office!
2. Reset your desk or workspace
Why? because your mindset's reflected in your space - and vice versa!
Organising your surroundings can work wonders for decompressing and resetting your thoughts. You can kick your energy up just by scrapping papers into trash, wrapping out the dust on your keyboard or tidying up your desk. It's just something innately soothing about a properly organised workspace!
3. Eyes & hands massage
Our eyes and hands are the two parts of the body under the most stress at work, on account of how most of us work desk jobs where we are typing all day and staring at a computer screen. Giving yourself a quick eye or hand massage definitely helps to release the tension built up in these areas and increase blood flow.
For a quick eye massage:
1) Press firmly on the pressure points just under the brow bone below the inner eyebrows and count to 3. Repeat 8 - 10 times.
2) With your thumbs firmly pressing your temples, brush over your eye brows and under your eyes with your bent index finger. Repeat for 20 - 30 seconds.
A simple hand massage in the below 4 steps:
1) Starts from the tips of the fingers to the wrist, and then back down to the fingers.
2) Massage the webbed area between the thumb and index finger, using a circular motion.
3) With the hand still face down, use your thumb to massage the wrist using a small, circular motion
4) Turn your hand over and massage the palm in small, circular movements using your thumb.
For added effect, use lotion or oil with a calming scent like lavender, or a refreshing scent like peppermint.
4. Use a stress ball
Stress balls are a well-known tool for helping to restore calm and ease workplace anxiety.
When we’re stressed out, every part of our body tenses up. Stress balls prompt you to squeeze and release, which can leave you feeling less tense. Meanwhile, you will think less about the source of your stress, by focusing on the squeezing ball and your hand movements.
Also, the brain stimulation that is associated with stress ball use can release endorphins which act as pain relievers and sedatives.
5. Breathing techniques
Take some time in the middle of a long day, find somewhere quiet in the office to do some deep-breathing exercises. Not only can it help to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, but also it acts as a diversion of attention, by focusing purely on your breath instead of your stress sources.
The right way to take a deep breath? Breathe in slowly, imagine the air inflating your stomach, instead of your chest. Push your stomach outwards to draw the air down, try to hold your breath in your stomach for 2 - 3 second, then slowly pull it back in to empty your lungs of air. Repeat this process for at least 3 times, then fall back into your normal rhythm.
6. Do mini-meditations
To go along with the above belly breathing, if you count your breaths consciously and match your inhales and exhales, the breathing process actually becomes a mini-meditation.
Take a deep breath in and count how many seconds it takes you to do so. Whatever number you reached on your inhale, match that number on your exhale. Repeat for 1 - 2 minutes. You can set a timer so you can focus only on the exercise.
7. Get up and take a walk
Getting up to stretch your legs, waist and shoulders. Sitting in your cubicle all the time will it make the day feel more awful physically, but it's simply not a healthy idea to sit for a long time.
Take 10 - 15 minutes to move away from all the stimulus that's causing your stress level to explode. A short walk helps to increase blood flow and release the physical tension you’re carrying in your body. It also helps to clear your thoughts and come back with a fresher mindset.
8. Remind yourself that it's temporary
As stressful as your long workdays may be right now, it’s really important to remind yourself that the stress you’re experiencing won’t last forever. After some deep breaths, tell yourself that you just feel bad temporarily, it's normal and your mind just takes some practices to be stronger.
Such reminder is an auto-suggestion, a psychological technique that's considered as the most powerful way to boost positivity and reprogram our mindset.
In every Zenkle Box, we mindfully select the best de-stress wellness tools that serves to reduce anxiety, restore calm and instil balance. Loaded with items that you can bring to the office, those long work days will feel a lot less hectic. Click here to find out more!