7 Ways to destress at your desk

Fact: work is hard. If it wasn’t, they’d call it something else. At its best, the modern office is a beautiful whirring workplace, full of collaboration and energy. But for employees surrounded by the all-too-common condition of office drama, it can be a place of extraordinary stress instead.

In our previous articles, we discussed ways you can avoid and defuse office drama in your workplace. However, another part of our “No Drama, All Business” motto is the capacity we all have to keep it classy and professional, even when drama surrounds us. With this in mind, here are seven ways you can relieve stress in your workday without even leaving your desk.

 

  1. Keep your loved ones close.

If you ever wonder why your co-workers have so many pictures of their kids tacked up in their cubicles, it turns out the effect is quite practical. Looking at calming, pleasing images is one great way to remove stress from your day without even thinking about it. Try setting the background image of your work computer as a photo of a family member, pet or close friend. You may not consciously notice the photo, but it’s relieving stress at the same time.

 

  1. Surround yourself with calm, interesting sounds.

The same principle applies to the sense of sound as well. Different people respond to different noises: some work best when they hear their favorite pop songs. Others are distracted by lyrics and prefer ambient sounds and textures to aid concentration. I’m in the latter camp; my secret weapon for relieving stress is the website “A Soft Murmur,” which lets you mix your preferred cocktail of ten different ambient noises.

 

  1. Get a fidget spinner. No, seriously.

Desk toys have a long and proud tradition, from the standard stress ball to the utterly genius LEGO™ coffee mug. Today’s latest fad, the fidget spinner, has already taken over classrooms around the country as students and educators alike debate whether the tiny toys are effective in improving focus. Regardless of their application in the classroom, a fidget spinner can be a handy tool at your desk for a similar reason as any other desk toy: by engaging your tactile senses and motor functions, it can help clear your mind and relieve stress.

 

  1. Stretch and move, even a tiny bit.

You don’t need specialized toys or equipment to engage your body at work. However, a quick stretch or a short walk can help improve your mood and increase your creative thinking. If your day is so packed that you don’t think you can manage even a five minute walk, try combining your walk with a task that doesn’t require you to be at your desk, like brainstorming or a phone call. Otherwise, shorten your walk to a quick trot around the office — even a few steps can do the trick!

 

  1. Schedule a weekly digital de-clutter.

We all love technology, but some people still prefer a pen and paper for making to-do lists or jotting down reminders on post-it notes. Like any other paper records, though, those notes have a bad habit of piling up and becoming stress-inducing clutter. If this sounds familiar, set a schedule. Every Friday, before you leave the office, make a habit of throwing out all of those pieces of paper. If you still need the information on them, transcribe the files to your cloud-based file sharing tool of choice. That way, you’ll be able to work on it with a clean slate on Monday.

 

  1. Take a break and laugh.

When we’re stressed out, we tell ourselves a lot of lies, like “I just need to finish this one thing,” or, “I’m almost done.” In truth, though, there’s only so much one person can work their brain without taking a break. Even if you don’t think you have five minutes to spare, remember that your work would take at least that much longer if you tried slogging through it tired and cranky.

While you’re on your break, seek out someone who always makes you laugh — chat with a funny coworker or text a friend. Laughter improves circulation and releases endorphins, helping you get back to your work relaxed and refreshed.

 

  1. Practice no-effort security.

The idea of data security stresses many office workers out because we don’t know much about it. For a layperson, it’s hard to know what activity online is safe, and which can lead to your company’s sensitive information becoming compromised. Rather than worrying, however, you can choose secure software tools for your business. The best tools will improve your security without any effort on your part. For example, allowing you to add ironclad data encryption to your emails and attachments with a single click.

 

This article is part three of four from Citrix ShareFile of our “No Drama, All Business” series. Enjoyed it? Check back on 9/14/17 for part four: 6 Perfectly organized workspaces to soothe your soul.

About the Author

Steve Stormoen is a writer/editor at Citrix, specializing in content marketing and blogging for RightSignature and ShareFile. He lives in Santa Barbara, California, where you're likely to find him consulting non-profit organizations, playing basketball, or writing and self-publishing indie comic books.