Have you ever had one of those days where one more email, or one more item added to your to-do list, might just melt you into a puddle under your desk? I have! It’s just the reality of working with modern technology. We’re always accessible, always on, and it can take a real toll on our physical and mental well-being. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are easy and painless ways to look after yourself at work to keep stress down and health up.
On July 24th, Inspired HQ took time out to ‘stress down’ for Lifeline’s Stress Down Day, an annual event to bring awareness to the effects of stress and raise funds for Lifeline’s support services. We enjoyed a midday yoga nidra session. If you’ve never tried yoga nidra, it’s a form of guided meditation where you bring awareness to every body part, quieting the mind and relieving tension held in the body. This is also known as yogic sleep – yes! you can even yoga in your sleep. We all felt light as a feather after just ten minutes. But even just a minute closing your eyes or looking away from your screen focusing on breathing deeply in and out of your nose has been proven to improve focus and reduce stress.
Just add animals
In addition to our yoga nidra session for Stress Down Day, we were joined in the office by Rosco, a big cuddly bulldog. It’s pretty hard to be too stressed when you see this under your desk:
If you need to convince your boss that an office pet is a good idea, just forward one of the many studies online showing how animals in the workplace can reduce stress, increase employee retention and even boost productivity. Here’s one to get you started.
Rather than sitting at your colleague’s desk or in a meeting room, take your next meeting outdoors for a power walk. Fresh air gives you a fresh take on problems leading to more creative solutions. There’s even an entire TedTalk dedicated to the concept and is said to be one of Barack Obama’s favourite ways to take a one-on-one meeting. Besides, your backside could probably use a break from your swivel chair.
Take real breaks
Next time you’re tempted to nuke your lunch in the microwave, sit back down at your desk and click away at your keyboard while absentmindedly eating – don’t! Take a real break. Even if you only have 20 minutes, eat your lunch away from a screen and let yourself think about something other than work. Sitting outside, or walking around the block can do wonders for your afternoon stress levels. If you have a little longer, check out the amenities near your workplace. Maybe there’s a library, gym, beautiful park or museum you can wander around. You don’t want to end up on Saddesklunch do you?
And watch out for too much overtime. Staying back late when you’ve got a big project deadline or urgent problem is unavoidable, but if you find yourself working late more often than not, have a think about which projects you can prioritise, delegate what you can, and ask for help if needed.
If you need to talk to someone about stress call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
- Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar and find a charity challenge perfect for you
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