10 Unconventional Ways To De-Stress At Work
12:15 pm, April 25th | by
Did you know that April is National Stress Awareness Month, and IT’S ALMOST OVER? Did your teeth clench a little bit harder when you read that? We know that work can raise your heart rate and anxiety level, and sometimes the most common solutions aren’t enough — if going for a walk, taking a deep breath and counting to ten were all it took we wouldn’t have a whole month dedicated to stress awareness!
But we have a few unorthodox ideas for reducing anxiety and turning your office into a temple of relaxation that we think will help. Trust us, we’re
not even close to being experts.
1.1. Brush your fears away
Those of us who played with dolls as kids know that one of the best parts was brushing your doll's hair for, you know, two or three hours at a stretch (before cutting it off, naturally). Recreate this experience and soothe your inner child by finding the coworker, male or female, with the longest and most luxurious locks. At a non-intrusive time, like lunch or the end of the day, sneak behind his or her chair with a brush and get to grooming. Try to keep it under half an hour, and always ask before doing any braiding.
2.2. Mini Zen garden
Zen gardens are so cute and miniature! Just looking at pictures of them is making me feel more relaxed already. Get one for your desk and rake it for twenty minutes or so at the same time every day. Regular routines help with relaxation — I think I read that somewhere once — and it has "Zen" in the name! You can't lose. The shivering and goosebumps that come with the sound of sand being raked around in a shallow stone box are signs that it's working.
3.3. Sage the entire office
4.4. Incorporate music into your day
This takes a bit of advance prep and foresight, but it's going to be totally worth it and your coworkers will thank you. Once everyone is gone for the night, sync up all the computers in the office to play
Enya at the same time the following afternoon. People are going to start crying. I swear.
Lobby your office to include a mandatory "yoga hour" in the middle of every day. Sure, this means that people will have to stay later, and it might not go over well with people who aren't huge yoga fans, but it's not your fault that you're still able to make spreadsheets while in downward facing dog. You're just more evolved than the rest of your coworkers — but you knew that already.
6.6. Begin with a bang
Start and end each day with a Tibetan gong. This can be done IRL or on YouTube, but make sure it's as loud and unexpected as possible. Adrenaline rush!
7.7. Go to your happy place. Literally.
Where do you imagine yourself going if you could just pick up and leave your life behind for a few days? Bali? Aspen? St. Petersburg (because you saw
a few times too many)? Go there. Just do it. When your boss calls to ask where you are, ignore the call and text back "In my happy place, b back ASAP." It's fine. Spring Breakers
8.8. Send a mass email out about start an office-wide massage chain
You know, where everyone stands in a circle and massages the shoulders of the person in front of them?
...Maybe leave HR off the email list.
9.9. Pull the fire alarm
Wait for a nice day in the spring or summer to do this. Then go for a building-sanctioned walk around the block! So refreshing.
10.10. Make a fort
Sometimes you can't leave your desk, or you're trapped in meetings all day, or you've had one too many warnings from HR about burning incense indoors and talking to your colleagues about their chakras. When it gets to be too much, all you can do is bring in some blankets and towels from home, drape them over your desk, and take a nap in your fort. Hang a sign outside that says "I will be out of the office today with limited access to phone and email. I will respond to your email as soon as possible upon my return."