Have you been feeling pretty tired and overwhelmed at work lately? When you’re irritable at work and still need to get things done, this can easily lead to procrastination. In many cases, procrastination can make things worse especially if you’re already feeling stress and anxiety about everything that needs to be done.
While there is plenty of advice out there on ways to have a productive week and establish a healthy morning and evening routine, you might be wondering what exactly to do when you’re in the thick of a tiresome day at work and how to cope.
While it’s almost impossible to get out of work for an extended period of time unless you have the means to do so, there are quite a few ways to deal with burnout and stress at work.
Here are a few helpful things you can do to de-stress while you’re at work.
Procrastinate Just a Little
We’ve often been told that any kind of procrastination is bad. Why put off what’s important when you can grab the bull by the horns and seize the day? Well, there are some days where procrastination looks very attractive and I end up procrastinating anywhere. In fact, when I procrastinate on the idea of procrastinating I fall even more behind.
Here’s the thing, there is technically nothing wrong with being a little hesitant to do a task. The New York Times referenced a study that suggests procrastination can often be understood as short-term mood repair. While procrastination can easily lead to negative results, I find that a little ‘short-term mood repair’ might actually help you get through a super tiresome workday.
Taking a few minutes to outline and research something before performing a task can help you focus in the near future. Setting a timer and spending 5 minutes browsing on your phone may be better than thinking about going on your phone all day and having to resist. The key is to avoid letting procrastination take over your entire day. Use it as a small boost to help you get to the next task or responsibility.
Go for a Quick Walk Around the Block
A typical workday is filled with tons of ups and downs, pressures, deadlines, and demands. If your work requires you to use a lot of mental energy and sit all day, get up, take a break for a few minutes and walk around the neighborhood.
I do this quite a bit especially if I’m getting sleepy at work or just need to clear my head and it’s a great way to decompress and get some air. You can always use your lunch break to your advantage as well to get some fresh air and take your mind away from work.
When you return, you’ll feel more refreshed and it may even give you that extra boost you need to finish up all your tasks.
Stretching feels so good! At a previous job, my coworker got me hooked on stretching during planned mini-breaks throughout the workday and I’m so glad I tried it out. It’s a great alternative if you can’t or don’t want to go outside. It’s also one of the best ways to relieve tension in your muscles which can make you feel a lot better. When no one is around, try some of these cool desk exercises.
On a hectic day, try getting up and stretching every two hours to relieve any stress. It’s super easy and it works.
Keep a Stress Ball Nearby
Stress balls are cheap and can provide an easy way for you to de-stress while you’re at work. A stress ball is pretty much like a ‘work toy’ for adults. It’s a firm but foam-like ball that can be squeezed to help relieve stress and muscle tension or to exercise the muscles of the hand. When you squeeze the ball, the muscles in your arm and wrist tighten up. Then when you release it, the muscles relax.
This can lead to a calming effect and perhaps even briefly take your mind off what has been stressing you out. Compare the purpose of a stress ball to holding on tight to a loved one’s hand when you need comfort.
If you type on the computer, or just use your hands a lot at work, squeezing a stress ball from time to time may be able to help prevent wrist or hand injuries that can develop over time.
Pull Out Your Healthy Snack
It’s been proven many times that stress can contribute to an increased appetite. Eating more because you’re stressed is not necessarily a bad thing, but eating overeating and eating bad food because you’re stressed is a different story.
Yet and still, instead of trying to avoid eating when you’re stressed, pull out a healthy snack to nourish your body and relax your mind. Pack a mixed salad, some carrot sticks and dip, a small container of seeds or nuts, or some fresh fruit to snack on after a few hours of work. I love berries and now that they are almost in season again, I’m finding some great deals on strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries so I can start snacking on them again during the workday.
Get your Email Inbox Down to Zero
Are your unread emails making your feel uneasy? Work email can be a tough beast to tame but it has a way of making you feel like an unproductive piece of crap when it gets out of control. While my personal email is another story, I tend to do a good job of staying on top of my work email and my blog email so that I don’t have too many unread messages haunting me at the end of each day.
Sometimes it can do you a world of good just to take a few minutes to reset everything and get rid of any lingering emails.
Play Soothing Music
There are tons of soothing songs and recordings on nature sounds that can be found on Youtube or Pandora Radio for free. As a writer, calming music helps me focus and get in the zone so I can overcome some of the pressure I feel to meet deadlines.
It’s hard to relieve stress when you can’t immediately remove the factors in your life that are stressing you out – also known as, work. However, these simple but effective strategies will not only help you cope with any stress you are feeling but eliminate it so you can feel more relaxed and at peace. Check out some of the best productivity playlists here.