Mental Health Productivity and Time Management

Breathe: 5 Ways to Stay Relaxed and Focused at Work

Many of us, regardless of our backgrounds, are distracted by the changes and activities that occur at our workplaces. When this much change is occurring around us, it can affect our abilities to think, plan, and stay focused, keep our moods stable and our relationships empathic. Read on to find out what you can do to restore a sense of relaxation and steadiness when your stress levels are going through the roof.

“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”

Eckhart Tolle

Having a job that requires you to work from morning till late afternoon for five days weekly can be exhausting. For some, they cannot seem to catch a break because if they do, they will face a bigger onslaught of tasks upon returning. So, the idea of relaxing is not known to them. However, just because you are at work does not mean you do not have a valid reason to take a day off. Even a short period of downtime can relieve you of stress and enable you to recharge before going back to productive work. So, having a time out is something worth considering. Continue reading to discover five ways you can stay relaxed, calm and reintroduce focus at work.

1. Breathe mindfully and deeply

Breathe in through your nose for five seconds. Next, hold your breath for four, and then exhale slowly through your mouth for eight. No, we are not counting sheep; we are performing a typical set of deep breathing routines. Deep breathing exercises help you oxygenate your body, lower your blood pressure and help support correct posture. You do not need to flex your muscles for this, and hence, anyone can do it.

2. “Deskercise”

Desk stretches slightly more effort than breathing. Nevertheless, they are not time-consuming and easy to do. Start by ensuring your back is in an upright position, and then extend your legs forward as far as possible. Alternate between pointing and flexing your feet a couple of times. You can take this further by doing some ankle rotations. Next, return to your original position and sway your body sideways to work on those obliques of yours. Add a few neck stretching exercises, and you are on your way to a fully recharged self.

3. Crossword

There are so many types of crossword grids out there. Regardless, completing word puzzles such as this is thought to prevent progressive neurologic disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington disease. Not only that, spending a few minutes to solve these wordy mysteries can improve your cognitive functions, rejuvenate your mood and leave you ready for the next obstacle. You do not need to walk into a bookshop to buy a crossword puzzle book – you can find heaps of it online. If crossword puzzles are not your cup of tea, try Sudoku. Do whatever it takes to preserve your brain matter and keep it sharp.

4. Take a stroll

Sometimes, when the office atmosphere is too overwhelming, the best thing to remedy the situation is to switch scenes. That means moving to a different work location or, better yet, walk around the park. The goal here is to get your blood flowing and stretch those leg muscles. I assure you it will do wonders for your mood and work spirit. A short trip to the water dispenser to refill your water bottle, a brief visit to the restroom or a stroll down the hallway are no-brainer choices. However, do not stay in those places for too long. Again, the aim here is to keep your physical and mental state of being fresh without needing to abandon your work area.

5. Keep your ears peeled

When the world was introduced to portable audio devices and accompanying accessories, almost all employees now can listen to their favourite songs while completing their tasks. The seemingly infinite number of songs out there proves that imagination and creativity are boundless.

However, not all genres of music are meant to stimulate productivity at work. For instance, upbeat tracks and heavy metal songs may not be the kind of music you would like to listen to when you are analysing financial statements. Instead, genres that promote calmness, peace and mindfulness, such as classical, instrumental or other ultra-low key melodies, are the go-to choices if you want to remain focused and refreshed at work.

Create a playlist filled with tunes that inspire you to do more rather than wear you out.


Final 2¢: You can determine how stressful (or relaxed) you want to be at work.

The amount of work you receive can be endless, and that can leave you tensed. If you cannot control the piles of work coming in, the alternative is to manage it so that it does not make you feel like you are being stretched to the breaking point. There are so many ways you can try to keep the feeling of being pressured at bay and relax at work. Give one or all of the above techniques a go, and you are sure to win the day.

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