By Tori Dunlap, Social Media Marketing Manager
It’s Monday. I walk into the office. 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 were compounding stress mounts to a point of a breakdown or utter exhaustion. However, no matter what happens, there are proven strategies to combat your crazy day and to help you turn it around (or at least keep your sanity until you get home.)
1. Take a walk
Get out of the office. Just do it. It can be a 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. And if you’re cubicle-mate has passed on that sore throat, tea is proven to help soothe and decongest (your go-to coffee works too!)
3. Stand up
Yep, we know: sitting is the new smoking. Standing up and working (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 has me already in the work kitchen, eating some chocolate-covered almonds or chips. But when I truly listen to what my body needs, the answer is usually along the lines of an apple with peanut butter. If you want to insure you’ll get through the day (and maybe start to cheer up in the process) fueling your body instead of putting it in a food coma will help immensely. Veggies and fruits, along with some much-needed protein, will assist in powering you through the day.
5. Talk it out
Talking with a co-worker, friend who works in your city, or your partner can be helpful to debrief and work through your stressors. Maybe it’s 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 put your situation into perspective.
When I take my first truly deep breath of the day, it’s often in the afternoon. Not okay. Deep breathing, even if it’s just 30 seconds, lowers your anxiety and gives you much-needed zen. Throw in a brief meditation or mantra, you’re on your way to a mini-spa day at work (right from your desk!)
7. Trip plan
I’m that person that literally checks her Alaska Airlines mile 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 5 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 a digital to-do list, write it down on a Post-It or a planner. And if you can’t really 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.
Set reminders on your phone and chug away. And of course sparkling water, unsugared tea, and water-rich foods (think watermelon, cucumber, etc.) totally count.