Stress Management at Your Desk

If you are one of those people whose work barely allows you to take a lunch break, then you could probably use some easy stress management tips. You don’t need to be able to take a long break from your desk in order to help relieve your stress. Short mini-breaks will do wonders to help you get through your day and could help you stay healthy and avoid some chronic conditions.


Breathing Technique

One of the quickest ways to slow yourself down is to take 10 slow, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose, take in as much air as possible, and breathe out through pursed lips (as if you are whistling). Focusing on your breathing and on counting to 10 will help to temporarily refocus your thoughts on relaxation and may help decrease your stress level.



Using imagery to relax is a simple technique that you can do just about anywhere. If you have a favorite picture as your background on your smart phone or computer, you are using a form of imagery. Select a few photos or pictures that always bring a smile to your face and keep them around your desk area.

When you are feeling particularly stressed, take a minute or two and just focus on your pictures. Chances are good that the longer you focus on your pictures, the more relaxed you will feel. If you, like me, have chosen some pictures that are family-related, then you will have the added benefit of being able to refocus on what is truly important in life.


Music Therapy

Consider playing your favorite radio station or your personal music player at a low level. Being able to hear your favorite music will help you get through your day much easier. I have been able to successfully play my radio at a very low volume, even while sharing an office with others who preferred not to have any noise while they worked.

If you are unable to play your music at a low level another option would be to use one side of your head phones with your music player. This way you can listen to your favorite songs while still being able to hear everything that is going on around you.



If the smell of roses, baking bread, or something similar puts you in a good mood, then consider using some form of aromatherapy. This can be tricky since some scents may be strong and may travel throughout the office. Consider bringing in flowers or using aromatherapy sticks, which tend to have a gentler smell, around your desk.

I like to keep my favorite scented hand cream and hand cleaner in my desk. When I need a mini-aromatherapy break I use my hand cream or my hand cleaner. This keeps my hands clean, prevents them from drying out, and I get to smell my favorite scent all at once.


Other Tips

I keep my favorite teas and powdered coffee at my desk. There is nothing like a nice, hot cup of tea or coffee to relax and rejuvenate me when I’m having “one of those days.” A quick heating of the water in my favorite, colorful mug and I’m on a mini-vacation from my work day.

I also use colorful pens and highlighters when I take notes for myself. I love seeing all of the bright colors everywhere and I get to use my favorite writing instruments. However, be mindful of when and where you use the colorful pens or you may be seen as unprofessional.

You spend so much of your life at work that you should have a plan to help deal with stressful situations. Not dealing with your stress today could lead to chronic health problems later on in life.

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