Dedication is great, but if your laser-like focus on work sometimes tips into stress, try these quick tips to reach workplace Zen.
Walk it off
If you feel your blood pressure rising, go on a short walk to clear your head. Stroll around the block at a steady pace, and try to focus on the things and people that you walk past, rather than letting your work stress dominate your thoughts.
Talk it off
Distract yourself for a few minutes by striking up a conversation about a non-business topic. Walk away from whatever is winding you up and make a quick phone call to someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with, or spend a few minutes shooting the breeze with the friendly local shopkeeper.
Kick the coffee habit
It’s going to take longer than five minutes to wean yourself off caffeine, but do consider cutting down your coffee intake - caffeine can increase blood pressure and feelings of stress. Spend the five minutes you’d usually spend at the coffee machine making yourself a relaxing chamomile tea instead.
Get out more
Popping outside shouldn’t be just for smokers. Step out for five minutes of fresh air and spend a moment to listen to the birds (if there are any), and take some deep breaths. This will help to remind you that there’s a world beyond your workplace, and give you a few minutes away from the stress you’re struggling with.
Shake it off
Spend five minutes on some simple exercises, and ignore the funny looks from the people around you. Release tension through exercise and movements that can take your mind off the present. You can find plenty of articles and videos online to give you more guidance.
If you’re able to listen to music while you work, make a playlist with your favourite relaxing songs so that it’s ready to go when things get stressful. Classical, ambient or chill out tracks are obvious choices for calming down, while high-tempo dance tunes may have the opposite effect.
Diaphragmatic breathing can be a great tool for relaxing, although it does take some practice. Breathe in and out through your nose deeply and slowly, concentrating on your stomach rather than your chest filling with air as you inhale. Keep one hand on your stomach and one on your rib cage so that you can monitor your breathing.