5 Genius Ways To De-Stress At Work

by Stephanie Montes

Regardless of what field you’re in, work can get stressful. To combat that tension, we tapped meditation and wellness expert Mariah Kelleher Perkins to get a few de-stressing techniques that can be practiced at the office. The best part is, fighting stress keeps you looking younger longer and makes you more productive. Talk about a win-win.

Take a Breather

“If you can leave the office for a few minutes, take a walk around the block. If you are unable to leave, get creative and find a space where you can be alone. Take 10 deep inhales and exhales while concentrating on your breathing and visualizing the tension and stress releasing from your body. You will be amazed at how much your energy level shifts and how refreshed you feel.”

Photo: Adam Katz Sinding

Clear the Clutter

“A clear space equals a clear mind. As your day gets busier and busier, it is easy for files, paperwork and coffee cups–among other things–to pile up on your desk. Having an organized area makes it easier to streamline your thoughts and stay focused on the task at hand. It also can make space (literally and figuratively) for creativity as well as increased productivity. Find a great desk organizer to ensure everything on your desk has a designated place.”

Stretch it Out

“We physically store stress and emotions in our bodies, which is why your shoulders or hips may become sore during periods of high stress. Doing some simple stretches at your desk helps release stress and tension, as well as increase the circulation of oxygen and healthy blood. Here are a few of my favorite desk-side stretches:

Seated Half Pigeon: While seated, cross the left ankle over the right knee and bend forward, reaching your head to your shin. Switch legs and repeat.

Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute): While standing or sitting, inhale and sweep your arms overhead, making sure not to lock your elbows. Bring your palms together, or, if your shoulders are tight, keep them shoulder distance apart.

Modified Downward-Facing Dog: Stand about 2 feet behind a chair and place your hands on the top of it. Bend forward, keep a slight bend in your knees and straighten your elbows."

Photo: @talia_sutra

Cut Down on the Caffeine

“When you’re stressed and tired, sometimes all you want is a strong coffee. While you don’t need to eliminate caffeine, at least try to reduce your consumption (half caffeine/half decaf latte?). Caffeine causes your blood sugar to spike and increases your stress hormones. Why add more fuel to the fire?”

Photo: @alfredcoffee

Schedule An Aromatherapy Session

“Aromatherapy is an amazing tool for easing stress and tension quickly. There are many oils that help reduce stress and anxiety, but my favorites include rose oil, bergamot, lavender, frankincense and geranium. Dab a few drops in the middle of your palms, rub your hands together and inhale–you can also place on the back of your neck or on your temples. Keep a bottle in your purse or at your desk for quick pick-me-ups.”