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Tomorrow Is Monday: Relieving Work Stress

Jerry Bunkers, flickr

Before I started working for Townsquare as a writer and fill-in on-air personality for KTDY, I was a teacher. Work stress wasn’t something I might experience, it was a guaranteed source of anxiety that caused me and my family great pain and anguish. A big part of that was that I wasn’t doing what I really wanted to be doing, but I also simply didn’t manage my stress well.

As a result, I’ve read about and practiced a lot of stress-relieving techniques. I happened upon this article, which contains five of the techniques and methods that have worked best for me. I’ve copied and pasted the methods here so that you don’t have to go find them. Hopefully, they can help you as well as you begin the new work week tomorrow.
Relaxation is key to stress management; it can change the way you react to problems that arise. While pounding the pavement might be your favorite form of stress management, taking a run during the middle of a workday isn’t always a possibility. Here are five techniques to help you get through a potentially stressful day.

Before heading into the office:

Whether you’re gearing up for a presentation or starting a new project, a five-minute meditation session will help bring better focus to your day. Start by sitting in a comfortable position and close your eyes. You can do guided meditation via CD, app, or video, or simply guide yourself in silence. Keep the focus on your breath and when your mind wanders, bring it back to a singular affirmative thought.

At your desk:

You don’t need to sit with your legs crossed under your desk to do breathing techniques in the office; taking a few deep breaths at your desk can sometimes be just as effective. Choose a screensaver or relaxing video to focus your eyes on, then take a deep inhale. Hold that breath for five to 10 seconds before releasing it out; repeat this sequence three to four more times. This exercise allows you to stay present and move on from any issue that is causing anxiety.

During your lunch break:

Journaling can be an effective outlet for stress. Go somewhere peaceful during your break, like a bench outside of your office. Even if you only have time to journal for 10 minutes, it can be enough to express your frustration and let go of any negative thoughts.

On your commute:

Road rage is an easy mode to slip into when you just want to get home after a hard day at work. Listening to a comedy set in your car, or through your headphones on the bus, can lead to a much-needed laugh attack. You may notice that by doing this during your commute, the time actually goes by faster and you are irritated by less external factors.

After you get in bed:

As exhausted as your body may feel, sometimes the mind has an ability to keep you up once you’re already tucked in for the night. While you’re under the covers thinking about the next day’s to-do list, try a progressive muscle relaxation technique. This is done by tensing up a specific muscle, or group of muscles in your body, and then releasing that tension so that your limbs can fully relax. Instead of just lying there, you are actively flexing each muscle, and then allowing it to melt into the mattress. Start from the head and feel the difference it makes once you get to your toes.

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