Office life can be more than a bit stressful with constantly ringing phones, emails flooding your inbox and the inevitable water cooler office politics chats.
We all know we’re supposed to take a break to get away from the screen glare and rest our aching brains but when the office never seems to stop, it’s not always that easy. This is why every second counts when you do take a break; you need to make sure that you’re maximising your time so that at the end of your break you feel rested and revived, not just as, if not more, frazzled.
Use these simple tricks and tips to maximise stress relief during office breaks:
Don’t eat at your desk
If the phone rings you will answer it, if an email marked urgent pops up you will respond you know you will. If you’re not there you can’t. Get away from work. Sit in the communal areas or even at someone else’s desk. Step out of your work zone.
If the weather’s nice and there’s somewhere to sit why not have an office picnic? You’ll feel like you haven’t been trapped in an office all day and get a bit of sun in the process. This will also give you a shot of vitamin D which will help boost your immune system and create a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals in your blood.
Eat the right foods
Instead of wolfing down something high in fat and sugar, make sure you’re eating some brain food. Fish is obviously seen as the classic brain food, but plenty of foods are good for the brain like whole grains, fruit and veg, nuts and seeds, and even dark chocolate has been known to kick start your brain with natural caffeine and antioxidants.
Get some exercise
Exercise has lots of benefits; it has been shown to reduce stress, and improve your mood. Exercise can also make you feel good about yourself as you take a healthy lifestyle decision; increasing self-esteem and confidence. Studies show that exercising can make you feel better about your body, even if you’re not dropping dozens of pounds. A short walk or a kick around in the car park will do you the world of good.
Take a nap!
Obviously this isn’t for everyone; in fact many businesses have strict policies against office napping! However, if you are lucky enough to work from home or somewhere they don’t mind you stepping out for a nap in your car in the car park, (who’s going to know?) take a power nap. After your nap your brain will have more room in its working memory for new data, since sleeping helps to clear that area of surplus information picked up throughout the day.
Congratulations of being such a hard working office trooper – if you’re reading this you’re clearly working hard enough to be worried about your stress levels and how you spend your breaks. However, if you want to be a real power house in the afternoon instead of clock watching for the end of the day, make the most of your lunch breaks.