How often do you reply to the question, “How was work”? with the word “busy”? When did that suddenly become the norm?

It’s been a difficult year for most of us and the last few weeks before the festive season is going to be spent wrapping up urgent tasks at work. We have become a nation that is cortisol driven and dopamine starved. Science tells us that cortisol - in small amounts - is a good thing, it keeps us on edge, eager to learn and improve. But we also know that a cortisol driven world leads to anxiety and burnout.

Luckily there is some pushback from the younger generations. Millennials should be praised for the difference they’re making, simply by saying “no” to an unhealthy work-life balance. They’re changing the narrative that one must be busy and stressed all the time in order to be productive.

After all, there are 60 seconds in a minute. That has never changed. The world isn’t moving faster. The world has not become fast-paced and unstoppable, our minds have become fast-paced and unstoppable.

So, if you’re currently feeling stressed, anxious, or simply wish to feel a little calmer, carry on reading for plenty of ways to unwind and relieve stress at work.

  • Use reminders to breathe. Purchase an app or simply set the timer on your phone and when you get the alert, stop and take a long, deep breath. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and helps to promote a state of calmness and immediate stress relief.
  • Clean your workspace. Your parents were right when they told you to clean your room! Studies show that your mindset is reflected in your space and vice-versa.
  • Skip the second (or fourth) cup of coffee. Coffee stimulates the adrenals, giving the illusion of accomplishment because you’re rushing. Substitute your java hit with a cup of hot tea or a protein bar when the pressure is on.
  • Prioritize and organize. You could be wasting your time on something no longer pressing. Make a to-do list and focus on 2 or 3 things max. Be realistic of what can be done.
  • Ask for help if you need to.
  • Run an errand away from your desk. If you have the opportunity to leave your workspace to tick another item off your to-do list, do it. A change of scenery will provide a welcome distraction.
  • Strike up a conversation with a co-worker and talk about anything but work. This will be a good reminder not to take life so seriously.
  • Doodle for a few minutes. This will reduce stress levels and enable you to take a different approach when you return to working.
  • Oil up. Keep aromatherapy oils at your desk. A peppermint oil massaged on your temples provides instant relief of tension.
  • Eat an orange. Did you know that a dose of Vitamin C can reduce stress? So break out this citrusy favourite and peel away.
  • Go to your “happy place” or jam to your favourite tune. Recalling a distant, peaceful memory can help to relieve tension and stress.
  • Massage your ear. This practice from traditional Chinese medicine has been proven to work! Massage your ear gently, right in the middle of the upper third of your ear. This spot will reportedly decrease stress and boost energy. Hey, it’s worth a try!

Take care of yourself ahead of the holidays, you’ve been through a lot.


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.