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In Honor of National Relaxation Day: 10 Ways to Reduce Stress at Work
  • 14 August 2018
  • Tiffany C Wright

In Honor of National Relaxation Day: 10 Ways to Reduce Stress at Work

As Forbes has previously shared, when we have too much work and too little downtime, we can make ourselves sick, run down and tired. What better reason to take a break from our hectic lives than to help celebrate National Relaxation Day, celebrated August 15 each year.

We hear that Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. In a society that’s always on and always connected, it’s important that we set time aside each day to relax, to be still, to breathe.

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As a small business owner, you’re stress levels are likely elevated on a day-to-day basis. Especially in the early years of building your business when you may have many concerns about having the funds needed to get things off the ground.

So, in honor of National Relaxation Day, here are 10 ways to help you take a step back and relax.

  1. If you can’t justify adding a full-time employee, consider hiring a part-time administrative assistant or virtual assistant. Having someone to help you tackle the more mundane tasks can make your work more enjoyable, and thus, less stressed.

  2. Designate specific time to respond to emails each day, perhaps for an hour in the morning and an hour again in the late afternoon or early evening. This allows you to focus on the real work you want to get done without reacting to the distraction of incoming email.

  3. Schedule time to periodically meet friends or friendly business associates – maybe for lunch or for coffee. This allows you to have some enjoyment in the middle of your day while also nurturing vital relationships.

  4. Plan two, 30-minute sessions each week where you are focused on something physical, whether it’s taking a walk or doing a yoga class. These can be during a lunch break, or maybe before you start your day working on your business. Doing so provides you with endorphins to make you feel better and more relaxed while also strengthening your heart.

  5. Have music playing in the background where you’re working. Whether it’s something inspiring, fun or relaxing, music can be uplifting and help improve your mood.

  6. Lift your head and take a brief, 10-minute break. Change your perspective and clear your mind. Step outside and get some fresh air. Try swinging your arms to help your lymphatic system circulate properly, which also helps promote a strong immune system.

  7. Pause and take 10-20 deep, focused breaths. Concentrate on breathing into your diaphragm, not your chest, which helps calm you. If you are truly stressed, do five minutes of deep breathing which has been shown to lower one's heart rate.

  8. Look for ways you can move around while working. Ergonomic standing desks have become popular, and offer the flexibility of raising and lowering the desk as needed. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, use a wireless headset that allows you to walk around without being anchored to a desk.

  9. Consider treatments like chiropractic care and massage therapy that help with your overall well-being. A chiropractic adjustment can help reduce joint restrictions or misalignments in your head, neck, spine and joints while massage focuses more on tendons and muscles. Whether done independently or in tandem, these types of treatments can help improve your immune system function, increase blood flow and flexibility.

  10. According to the Harvard Business Review, the workplace needs laughter. Find ways to incorporate light, witty humor into your day. Laughter decreases stress hormones, increases intake of oxygen-rich air, and can even lower blood pressure.

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According to the American Institute of Stress, additional options to consider to reduce stress on National Relaxation Day are visualization, volunteer work, and playing with pets. The point is to take the time to relax and enjoy your work and your life. Even when the days are extremely hectic, setting aside an hour broken down into 5-10 minute increments throughout the day to do one or more of these activities can have positive impacts and reduce stress.

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