With enduring packed work weeks, finding time to be social, caring for our bodies, and making room for rest, staying on top of it all can be a full-time job. Between the demands of careers and our lives outside of them, we’ll admit: We’re freakin’ stressed. While stress is an inevitable part of life, managing stress is key in keeping us healthy and ready to take on new challenges.
Sure, taking a two-week vacation in the Cayman Islands to avoid all of our responsibilities sounds like a sufficient solution, but in reality, finding more practical options to deal with our day-to-day stressors is what will truly set us up for success. If “I’m stressed” has crossed your mind at all today or this week, we’ve got you covered. Here are seven easy hacks to de-stress throughout the workday so that you can show up as your best, most efficient self (no plane, train, or automobile required):
1. Take a 10-minute class on a work break
Exercise in any form can have a huge impact on stress levels, and thankfully, you don’t need an hour-long class or a fancy gym to make it happen. Even taking 10 minutes out of your day between tasks or meetings to get your body moving, blood flowing, and endorphins pumping can help you get away from your computer, de-stress, and refresh.
Obé Fitness is one of our favorite hacks to getting a solid workout in at home, trying out new forms of exercise, and making time to prioritize our bodies. Obé has a ton of 10-minute classes that help us get moving when we’d otherwise be taking a sedentary “break” (read: being horizontal and scrolling social media). With cardio boxing, dance HIIT, barre, and pilates, Obé is the perfect solution to keeping movement fresh, fun, and at your fingertips on your busiest days.
2. Make a plan
Having a plan can be crucial when it comes to managing stress levels on a busy day. Take a step back from haphazardly jumping from task to task and look at the big picture of what needs to be done today, tomorrow, and this week. You might do better when you prioritize your easiest tasks first to warm up and gain confidence, or you might start with your hardest tasks first to align with your energy levels. Maybe you prefer to batch similar tasks so that you can avoid wasting the time involved with switching gears. Whatever the best plan is for you, having one can help you work more efficiently and better manage your time and energy.
One of the best ways to recenter, refocus, and decrease stress levels is to meditate. If you’re not into meditating, it might not be on the top of your “ways to de-stress” list, but hear us out: Meditating is a game-changer when it comes to managing stress throughout your workday. Despite what may be popular belief, meditation is not about turning your brain off. It’s about tuning into your thoughts, feelings, and body to gain perspective. Practicing meditation can help you focus your attention, address stressors, and free your mind of the distractions that may bring you anxiety. If you’re a beginner (or a skeptic), consider adding meditation to your daily routine to help you de-stress throughout the day.
4. Declutter your workspace
We don’t know about you, but when our work area is a mess, we feel like a mess. A clean workspace can be beneficial to your mental health, while a cluttered workspace can have negative effects on your stress levels and ability to focus. Taking five minutes to tidy up your desk, declutter your work bag, and close the 48 open tabs on your computer can streamline your workflow and help you direct your attention where it’s most needed.
5. Listen to mood-boosting music
Here at The Everygirl, we love a good mood-boosting playlist for more than just an unexpected solo performance or dance party (though we do encourage mid-day choreography sessions and/or breaking out into song whenever your heart desires). Music is a powerful tool that can have a profound effect on our ability to relax, concentrate, and even boost our mood. Whether you’re looking to zone in and increase focus or to improve your mood throughout the day, there’s a playlist out there with your name on it to help make your workday infinitely better.
6. Go for a quick walk down the street
When you’re feeling bogged down and overwhelmed by tasks, focus on getting your steps in. Not only does walking promote the release of endorphins to stimulate relaxation and improve mood, but it also gives you the opportunity to physically remove yourself from certain stressors. Walking has many benefits for the body and also the mind. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk, you’ll be able to return to your work with mental sharpness and an improved mood. Sign us up!
7. Connect with a friend or coworker
Call it comedic relief, venting, or the beauty of human connection, but nothing helps us de-stress quite like taking a minute to talk with our work friends, best friends, significant others, or family members. Besides the fact that we enjoy the people we surround ourselves with, there’s science behind it: When we connect with people we love, the brain releases the hormone oxytocin, which can help reduce stress levels by affecting cortisol levels (the stress hormone). If that’s not a case for catching up with your bestie, we don’t know what is.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of obé, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.