Are You Using This Free Stress-Reliever?

Career & Workplace

are you using this free stress-reliever?
There is a great workplace stress-reliever available to most of us, and it is absolutely free. You don’t have to pay any membership fees, you don’t need expensive equipment, and you probably can do it on your next lunch break. Can you guess what it is?
Take a walk outside.
Not much of a secret, I know, but most of us don’t do what we already know is a good idea. The benefits of doing this simple thing are big, though, so think through some of your objections and see how to add a walk outside to your day:

  • park far away so you have to walk to get to work
  • have a walking meeting with a co-worker or two (more than three gets awkward)
  • walk inside in bad weather; it’s better than not walking at all
  • take a walk when you are stuck on a project so you can ruminate on solutions
  • walk a little bit if you can’t walk much

This is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your workplace stress, and it’s free. You may have to bring some shoes from home and switch into them, but that’s about it. Your health will improve, your attitude will improve, and you come back inside with a fresh take on problems.
What’s the alternative? Sitting at your desk stewing over things, your thoughts chasing each other like hamsters on a wheel and not going anyplace, your body settling into a blob of unhealthiness. So get up, go outside, and take a walk. It’s free, it’s good for you, and it gets rid of some of that stress.

Having a bad day? Quick tips to melt the stress away.

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Ever have one of those days where you just want to throw your computer out the window, or walk out the door and never come back? OK, if you haven’t then you either have an awesome job– or are unemployed. But even the very best of jobs get stressful. The boss is being a jerk, a coworker took the credit for something you did, or you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Sometimes, we just need a do-over.
R.J. Ignelzi, a Union-Tribune Staff writer, wrote a fantastic article, “Give stress a rest-simple, quick relaxation techniques to help tackle tension”.  No time for a long, hot bath or a trip to the spa? R.J’s ideas are quick and easy to do–at home, work, or even in your car. Here are some suggestions:
At Work or School

  • Soothe weary computer eyes. Rub palms together vigorously to create heat and place them over your eyes for a full minute. (Wow. Must try!!)
  • Squeeze a rubber ball in your hand for 3 seconds and release.
  • Try Quickie Yoga. Sit up straight in your chair and let your arms drop limp at your sides. Inhale, and on the exhale, lean forward and rest your chest on your thighs. Remain there for 5 seconds then slowly come up and inhale. Repeat 3 or 4 times, or until your colleagues make fun of you.
  • Give yourself a mini hand massage. Grab the lotion in your desk and knead your tired fingers. (Now close your eyes and pretend you are at a spa… ahhhh)
  • Fake a smile. Studies show positive effects occur even if the smile is fake.
  • Keep aromatherapy oils at your desk. Lavender and mint work wonders. (I have been studying and using aromatherapy for 13 years and find it works miracles when having a bad day, can’t get the brain moving, need to relax, or need to perk up. Very beneficial for every aspect of your life.)
  • Take deep breath throughout the day. This will keep you relaxed and relieve any tension that has built up.

At home

  • Hold hands with a loved one. (Human touch calms us down)
  • Call a friend. (Get the day’s scoop!)
  • Stroke or brush your pet. (Good for both of you!)
  • Give yourself a mini scalp massage. (I do this ALL THE TIME. Tension drains away)
  • Soak a hand towel and microwave it a couple of minutes until steamy. Apply to neck, forehead or achy lower back.
  • Turn up the music and dance. (I do this at lunch time w/my kids– we all love it)
  • Keep a daily gratitude journal.

R.J. also goes on to talk about relaxing in your vehicle and while shopping (shopping stressful? No way!).  You can read the entire article here.
I feel much better already, don’t you?