‘Always on’ isn’t just about our phones (when was the last time you properly switched off your phone for a period of time? Even for a flight?) – work culture has idealised people that work 24/7 and it’s harming our health.
Notifications that bombard us after hours eats into precious downtime, which can result in burning out. But stress doesn’t have to be constant (just like that January diet…).
There are tools that can manage all kinds of anxiety, resulting in a healthier working environment. We’ve come up with some of our favourite techniques to destress in the office:
1. Learn to prioritise
We hate to break it to you, but you will not be able to achieve 101 things before lunch.
Make a daily to-do list that is achievable. Break down what you need to do into manageable chunks, and you won’t wake up in a cold sweat at 3 am thinking you’ve forgotten something.
2. Practice mindfulness whilst doing the tea round
Mindfulness is not a new concept; recently it has made its way into western society and it’s something we are passionate about at POS.
Whilst the kettle boils be completely aware of the present moment, one by one focus your breaths in and out; the sound of the water bubbling in the kettle; the feel of the kitchen counter on your fingertips.
If your mind keeps getting distracted, there are plenty of guided meditations online you can try that are as short as five minutes.
3. On that note…breathe
Do not underestimate the power of a few deep breaths. Breathing is something our subconscious takes care of in order for our conscious brain to focus on other important things – like that meeting you’ve been dreading!
Take three deep breaths in (make sure the breath out is longer) or Google deep breathing techniques to find one that works for you.
4. Get moving and step away from that screen
Your mind and body are connected and they both need each other to function properly. Your body needs movement and hunched over a desk at a computer all day may feel productive, but your body will feel the consequences.
A brisk walk at lunchtime is going to have a more positive impact than scratching your head and procrastinating for 20 minutes. You will come back refreshed and energized – trust us.
At the very least, step away from your screen frequently. Uninterrupted computer use has been associated with stress, lost sleep and depression, according to a study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
5. Look at alternative methods like EFT
Emotional Freedom Techniques draws on similar principles to acupuncture, tapping pressure points on your body.
You need an open mind, proponents say the tapping helps you access your body’s energy and sends signals to the part of the brain that controls stress.
If you want to give this a proper go, Google EFT tapping sequence. It involves tapping your eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin, beginning of the collarbone, under the arm, finishing on top of your head. While tapping, you say words that address the issue.
Even applying pressure to the space between your second and third knuckle (the joints at the base of your pointer and middle fingers) can help to create a sense of instant calm, according to Sharon Melnick, author of Success Under Stress.
"It activates a nerve that loosens the area around the heart, so any of that fluttery feeling you feel when you're nervous will end up going away." Melnick told Business Insider.
6. Talk it out
If things are really overwhelming and you feel stressed for a prolonged period, don’t suffer alone.
Speak to a person you trust about what is going on, be it in or out of work. If after trying these techniques and you feel no better, then it may be a good idea to speak to your line manager or colleague about the effect work is having on you.
We are passionate about wellbeing and our vision is to inspire people through the creation of inspiring spaces. The new year is a perfect excuse to take note of your mental health – ditch the fad diets, your mind deserves some attention!