Office Stress Busters-Relief from Stress


Stress Busters

Sitting at the desk with piles of paper, tons of emails and everything under the sun can be stressful and tiring. Those who work in offices need to take care of themselves by finding relief from stress and by having fun. After all, a cubicle is meant to be a great place to work in.

Here are 12 great tips to help you reduce office stress:

1. Stretch: I do this every day, throughout the day. In the morning, stretching before going out is as much a part of my routine as brushing my teeth. If I know that I will be sitting for long periods of time, I make sure that I stretch my hamstrings and my calves. When I am at the computer, I often do finger stretches, forearm stretches and shoulder stretches. It’s an instant energizer. All those P.E. teachers were right. Stretching makes a great difference in your workout…even if your workout is behind the desk in your own little cubicle. (:

In addition to stretching, another way to find relief from stress is to…

2. Breathe: When deadlines hit and work goes into full swing, we sometimes forget to breathe deeply. I often catch myself breathing quite shallowly when I’m under stress. The lack of oxygen depletes anyone’s energy levels by mid morning. Doing simple breathing exercises will help open up our lungs and will remind our bodies to slow down.

What do I do? Breathe in slowly for 10, hold for 10 and slowly release for 10. Then I repeat several times. I did a few of these just a few minutes ago.

Now I feel quite refreshed to go on to:

3. Laugh:A good laugh is a way to dissipate seriousness, reduce stress and heighten our happy factor. I have friends who post little cartoons or short jokes in their work areas. In my work area, I have a calendar with funny pictures of animals. Displayed on my wall right now, is a warm and fuzzy kitten staring, wide-eyed with a crooked grin. Every now and then, I look up at it and I laugh. What do you have in your work area that makes you laugh?

Photo by: Angelica


Aside from laughing, we need to…

4. Play: I’m not saying to slough off on the job. However, break times could be used to have a little fun. Play a board game with a co-worker; race walk someone to the break room. Make your break time active and fun. It’s a great way to rejuvenate your energy for your return back to your cubicle.

In addition to playing, it’s important to…

5. Have good posture: This is something I always have to remind myself of everyday. Just ten minutes ago, I felt a great strain in my neck and in my jaws. It had started as a small irritant just an hour ago and had increased over time while I was busy with my writing. At the point of great discomfort, I looked at my body posture. Without my realizing it, I had been working slumped in an angled position in my chair. As soon as I straightened up, I felt much better. Instant relief from stress!

In addition to having good posture, remember to…

6. Use ergonomically designed products: It is worth it to spend a little more for ergonomically designed products that help your body to function well at work. I am all for saving money. However, I have a friend who “saved money” when she used a non-ergonomically-designed keyboard for a while until she developed carpal tunnel syndrome. The medical expenses as well as the abrupt stop in her work was a great price to pay in the long run.

As I am writing, I am using an ergonomically designed keyboard and mouse. It makes a tremendous difference to my wrists, my arms and my neck. I can work longer and I feel my work is of greater quality because of the lessened strain on my body.

In addition to this, remember to…

7. Be grateful: Make a list of things you are grateful for and post it where you can see it. A cubicle, your phone, your computer screen are great places to post it. When things in the office seem to get hectic, read your list. It will help to put things in perspective.

In addition to being grateful, it’s important to…

8. Exercise:When I worked in a particular office, I used half of my hour-long lunch break to walk around. I’d walk through the building, up the stairs or even into the neighborhood around the office. It rejuvenated my energy levels and it certainly reduced my stress. Today, I’m taking 5 minute breaks here and there to get up and take a brisk walk. It makes a difference in my writing since sedentary stuff is just too….well….sedentary.

Exercise! (:
Photo by: Damian Gadal

Which leads us to…

9. Get a massage: Friends of mine like to book massage sessions after work or during their lunch breaks. If you don’t have time (or the budget) to do that, try a simple self-massage. I often massage my hands, my fingers and my forearm when I type a lot. I also massage my jaws and the back of my neck when I feel tense. Don’t forget to breathe while you’re at it. You’ll be glad you did.

In addition to getting a massage, you could…

10. Get some sun:Staying all day in indoor lighting is no fun. Going outside and warming up in the natural sunlight is quite relaxing. It’s a great way to get a dose of vitamin D and it certainly refreshes the soul. Get some sunlight. It’s wonderful stress relief.

Photo by: Vinoth Chandar

In addition to getting sunlight, you may want to check out our bonus tips…

11. Have a healthy snack: Healthy snacks such as almonds, walnuts, yogurt or fruit will help keep you going in the workday rush. Keeping your energy levels up through the mid morning and in the afternoon is important. I just had a yummy banana a few minutes ago. Now, I feel like I can write-away! In addition to having a healthy snack, it’s important to…

12. Organize your space: Stress often comes when we need to spend extra time searching for our work tools. I have a space which is all mine. I know where the paperclips, the pens and the scissors are kept. Once I use these items, I replace or return them back to the same area. I also try to organize my paperwork into prioritized groups.Right now, I’m working on reorganizing my computer work. I’m making sure every folder is adequately labeled and that the most used ones are kept on the desktop. This eliminates a whole lot of stress in my day. Perhaps it would do the same for you, too.

Yes, stress relief in the office is a must in today’s work world. Utilize these tips to make your workday a much happier, less stressful day.

As you go throughout your work day, remember, my Sweet Friend…


Have a stress-free day!


The Happy Balance Girl

Copyright 2011-2012 by Stacey Shimabukuro-Lui. All rights reserved.

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