De-Stress At Your Desk


Defuse that stress-bomb with these important self-care tips made for the office

Being in an office for most of your day can be taxing on the system. Between having to work with a multitude of personalities, there are deadlines, targets and office politics to contend with. Granted, in circumstances, stress can be used as a fuel to get the job done. However, more often than not, it boils over into toxic territory and affects your mental and physical health. Essentially, shutting down your productivity. Chances are, you can’t quote stress as valid justification to leave early for the day. Instead, here are some techniques you can engage directly from your workstation.

Auricular Acupressure

Also known as an ear massage, this stress-relief tip is courtesy of traditional Chinese medicine. The region of the ear to massage is known as the Shen Men. Situated in the middle of the upper third of the ear, gently stroking it can bring some relief and boost energies. In the event you may not be able to find the Shen Men, you can start rubbing the earlobe from the bottom, slowly making your way up. Studies have shown its ability to reduce anxiety and stress in post-operation and pre-operation hospital patients.


Sometimes, sitting alone can send your internal dialogue into overdrive. Identify your little tribe of supportive individuals who can draw your attention away from the things stressing you out. It could be a family member, or work friend. Reach out to them, and give your energy a tune up. You don’t have to wait for stress to reach dangerous levels too. Rather, you could have a standing weekly meeting where you can brainstorm solutions to office issues and stay proactive.

Tea Breaks

When stress shows up, it can be tempting to grab copious amounts of coffee. Or perhaps your poison is soda or wine. Instead, opt for some herbal tea for its healthy antioxidants benefits. Be it trusted favourite, chamomile, or variants such as green, rose or hibiscus tea.

Turn Up the Tunes

Music is not solely for entertainment. Listening to it when your stressed can bring about relaxation and relief. In particular, aim for music with slower tempos, such as classical music, since they slow down the breathing rate. Some studies even suggest that they have the power to bring down blood pressure too.

Tweak Your Space

They say that the state of your desk reflects your mental state and vice versa. When you start to feel the stress building, take a few minutes to tidy up your workstation. Spending time decluttering your desktop or drawers gives your mind some breathing space to reset itself. It also helps having a physical reminder on your desk that whatever is stressing you isn’t as big as it appears. It could be a picture of the vast ocean or the star constellations.

Magical Meditation

One of the fastest ways to reconnect with your body is through some meditation. Depending on your level, you can choose to do it on your own, or you can work with a guided meditation to bring about progressive relaxation. Even better, there are so many meditation apps available to help you make it a regular fixture in your routine. If the term meditation is a little hard to swallow, you can refer to it as a mini mental vacation. This activity makes the user visualise a relaxing scene for a few minutes, asking them to imagine it with all their senses.

Screen Break

To welcome the calming vibes back into your life, you can give your eyes a break, and look away from the computer screen. You could decide to close your eyes and catch a power nap or meditate. Alternatively, you could get moving in your chair. For example, you can slowly swivel in your office chair as you do some breathing exercises. But if you’re not able to do so, why not get up, and go for a quick walk? If possible, aspire to do so in the outdoors to get the healing benefits from nature. Or perhaps perform jumping jacks in the stairwell? Whatever you do choose, it should get your heart pumping.

And Breathe

This must be the most obvious, but it can be the last thing on your mind when the stress-levels rise. The extra oxygen that you invite in goes a long way in installing a state of serenity. Apart from taking deep breaths, learn a breathing technique that you can implement when you require the calming effect ASAP.  And the good news is that there are quite a few techniques you can choose from, such as the yoga breathing, quieting response, pursed lip breathing, diaphragmatic breathing and 4-7-8.

Grab Some Fruit

Did you know that the simple act of peeling an orange could lower your stress? The citrus fragrance, according to a study by Brazilian scientists, destresses an individual when inhaled. To get the most out of it, it’s recommended peeling the orange in one go, to focus your mind on this task than on the stress. Once you do eat the orange, you get access to its vitamin C content, which helps to reduce stress as well. Another calming fruit is the banana. Thanks to the potassium in it, it aids with energy recovery, stress relief and blood-pressure regulation.

Stop and Sniff

If you can’t keep oranges in your desk, essential oils are the next best thing. Among their long list of benefits, such as helping with skin conditions and pain, they’ve the ability to aid with anxiety and stress. Some of the more preferred natural destressing oils include lavender, rose, chamomile and bergamot. You could choose to sniff it directly from the bottle, or opt to place a few drops onto an item of your clothing to have it with you through the day.

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