You have been there. It's 1pm, the phone has been ringing off the hook for hours; you have a deskful of paperwork and your inbox is growing much faster than your outbox is dwindling you have a meeting in an hour and a headache that won't go away.
What you need is a little downtime to de-stress. Time however, is something you are short on. The good news though is that in just 15 minutes – or even less if need be – you can take some weight off your shoulders, relax, regroup and destress, simply by trying a few of these ways to de-stress at the office that should calm and refresh you so you can resume your day in a better state of mind.
Turn Off Your Phone
Thanks to the rise of cellphones we can, technically, be available to anyone and everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week no matter where we are. Convenient, but stressful. For the duration of your 15 minute relaxation break, turn it off. As in all the way off, not just switching it to silent. If a call really is so urgent that it can't wait 15 minutes then the caller will find some other way of reaching you, but that really is highly unlikely.
Change Your Screensaver
Your computer screen is probably something that you spend a large part of your day staring at, so why not put it to work to help you destress and to help you get your work done. Choose a screensaver – and there are millions of them out there – that features calming, beautiful imagery. Waterfalls, lush forests, sunsets, sunrises, a basketful of kittens, whatever it is that when you look at it will help you meditate a little and let go of some of that pent up anxiety.
Take a Musical Interlude
Grab a pair of headphones, kick back in your chair, close your eyes and listen to some great music for fifteen minutes. It does not matter what it is. Music affects people in different ways and what may calm and relax one person may simply annoy another. Make a playlist that contains your favorite songs – the ones you normally use as a go-to to make you feel happier – and have it cued up on your computer/phone/MP3 player ready to go whenever you need it.
Sit back in your chair a little, close your eyes and concentrate on counting your own breaths (an inhale and exhale counts as a single breath) Keep going until you have reached 108. As the average person takes 15-20 breaths per minute, this exercise will take you between six and eight minutes to complete and you really will feel so much calmer and relaxed once you're done.
Why 108? You probably don't realize this but the number 108 has, according to many spiritualists and yoga practitioners, great cosmic significance. Therefore, many of them practice this exercise in this manner and in any case, it's a nice, even number that will give you just the right amount of time to rest during a busy day.
Make Like a Monkey and Eat a Banana
There's a reason that most monkeys are such happy, energetic, healthy little creatures; bananas. Many people don't realize just how good for you they are. As they are rich in potassium, something we all need and often don't get enough of, a banana (not an apple) can help keep the doctor away by regulating blood pressure to decrease your risk for stroke or heart attack. And as stress raises your blood pressure eating a banana can help relieve that too.
Today's working world sees most of us spending far too much time sitting at our desks, something that is bad for us both mentally and physically. While you may not have too much of a choice in the matter getting up and moving several times a day is a must, both to help you stay physically healthy and to relieve stress.
You don't have to go for a run or anything. Walking around the block, walking around the office, jogging up and down the stairs, any of this will help.