10 5-Minute Tricks to Help You Deal With Stress
I walk into the office at 8:30 a.m. sharp. By the time I sit down at my desk, I realize three different fires need putting out, my laptop is malfunctioning, and there’s a full inbox waiting for me...all before breakfast. Sound familiar?
I think we’re all used to these days—the ones where compounding stress mounts to a point of a breakdown or utter exhaustion. Thankfully, there are proven strategies to combat your hectic day and to help you turn it around (or, at least help you keep calm until you get home).
Next time you're stressed, give one (or more) of these 10 strategies a try:
1. Take a Walk
Get outside. Just do it. It can just be a quick walk around the block, but you need to see some daylight. Sunlight and fresh air will make your day better. If a walk isn’t possible, find a window and do your work there, or take your lunch outside. Soak up the sunshine!
2. Drink Something Warm
A cup of peppermint tea with honey is just what the doctor ordered to calm your nerves and give you that coffee shop vibe right at your workstation. Or, if coffee relaxes you (rather than makes you jittery), find comfort in a warm cup of joe.
3. Stand Up
Yep, we know: sitting is the new smoking. Standing up and working (maybe while jamming to a killer playlist?) automatically gives me more energy and motivation. Don’t have a standing desk? Find a high table or cabinet in your office and make it your (temporary) desk.
4. Eat a Healthy Snack
When I’m feeling down, my brain sends me to the kitchen to eat some chocolate-covered almonds or chips. But when I truly listen to what my body needs, the answer is usually something healthier—like an apple with peanut butter.
If you want to ensure that you’ll get through the day (and maybe start to cheer up in the process) fueling your body with whole, healthy foods will help immensely. Veggies and fruits, along with some much-needed protein, will help you power through the day.
5. Talk It Out
Talking with a co-worker, a friend who works in your city, or your partner can be helpful to debrief and work through your stressors. Maybe the source of you stress is actually that huge project looming, your minor mess-up in front of your boss, or your goals for the month. Having someone lend you an ear (and keep you accountable) will help you put your situation into perspective.
When I take my first truly deep breath of the day, it’s often in the afternoon—and that's not OK. Deep breathing, even if it’s just 30 seconds, lowers your anxiety and can give you much-needed zen. Throw in a brief meditation or mantra, and you’re on your way to a mini-spa day.
7. Look Forward to Something
I’m that person that literally checks her Alaska Airlines miles status DAILY. When work and the grind is getting me done, daydreaming about my next vacation or getaway (even if it’s just for the weekend) makes everything so much better. Spend five minutes checking flight deals or look up your hotel reward balance. And even better? Here’s $40 off your next AirBnB to get you on your way.
8. Screen Your Screen
After staring at a computer for 40+ hours a week (plus the time spent on your phone or watching TV during personal hours), your screen time can account for almost every waking moment. I can guarantee that’s taking a toll on your health and wellness. If you’re heading into a meeting where you need to take notes, use paper instead. Rather than creating a digital to-do list, write it down on a Post-It or a planner. And if you really can't get away from your computer, make sure you’re looking up and away for a few minutes every half hour.
9. Spring Clean (Every Season)
In my near vicinity are receipts, empty bottles, magazines, tupperware, and cords I don’t need—all on my desk. I can literally feel my brain getting just as crowded as my desk space. Doing a spruce up every Friday before you leave (throwing away stuff you don’t need, taking home clean containers) and a deep clean every month (wipe down surfaces, throw away unnecessary documents, etc.) will make you want to sit and work. Don’t forget to digitally clean too: delete files you don’t need, purge your social media. Your brain will thank you.
Your pee should be a blissfully pale yellow (or, even better, clear.) If it's not, set reminders on your phone and chug away. Sparkling water, unsugared tea, and water-rich foods (think watermelon, cucumber, etc.) are great alternatives, too.
A verison of this post originally appeared on VictoriMedia.com