This Friday is the first day of summer. Time for vacations. Time for relaxation. Time to hit the beach and leave the day-to-day stresses behind. The advent of summertime brings to mind our need for a break. But that’s not always possible in the midst of deadlines and projects and, well, life. Or, is it? The truth is, there are many ways to de-stress at work that only take a few minutes. Here are a few great examples:
Be proactive. “Get a head start” and “wake up earlier” are recommended to reduce your overall stress. Even starting your day just 15 minutes earlier gives you extra time to prepare for your day.
Grab a book. A 2009 study by the University of Sussex found that as little as six minutes of silent reading reduced stress levels by up to 68%. The same study found that listening to music was helpful for stress reduction. Keep a book and headphones at work.
Laugh. It is the best medicine, after all. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “When you start to laugh, it lightens your mental load and actually causes positive physical changes in your body. Laughter fires up and then cools down your stress response, producing a good, relaxed feeling.”
Be active. Get up and move around for a few minutes or, if the weather is good, take a walk around the block. Even little things like simply taking a few deep breaths or stretching at your desk can help you stay fresh and focused at work.
So, until it’s time for you to hit the beach, if you need to fend off a case of writer’s block, de-stress or give your creativity a boost, take a minute to recharge and refocus. It will help you be at your best, so you can do your best.