Take Time-Outs to Cut the Risk of being Sidelined!

We all have daily stressors and it is not easy to find the time to accomplish everything we would like to get done each day. With the demands on our time rising, finding an opportunity to rest is becoming more and more rare. Every free moment is usually occupied with a task and it is easy to get lost in the small details of everyday life. Professional, familial and social obligations can make one feel overwhelmed and over-stressed. Prolonged periods of excess stress have been linked to serious physical illness and recent studies have suggested that it can damage emotional and mental function as well.
Whether it is when you first wake up, in between chores and running errands, or on a lunch break, taking time to clear your mind each day is necessary to maintain a healthy mind and body. Frequent, short breaks each day will mitigate stress and help to keep you thinking clearly. Light physical activity can improve muscle tone and aid in preventing injuries. Here are some tips for the office and at home that will help you to keep stress at bay and lead a happier, healthier life.

AT THE OFFICE:

Take a few minutes to organize your workspace.
– Desks and cubicles easily become overrun with papers and other items if not addressed regularly. A cluttered work area increases the likelihood that items will not be found in a hurry, which adds to your stress level and can keep you from feeling focused. Moreover, try to make your work area as ergonomic as possible. There are many ergonomic office implements and furniture that can keep you working comfortably, reducing the chances of straining muscles and developing repetitive stress injuries.

Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
– Just taking a few minutes to relax your eyes can greatly reduce eye strain and can lead to fewer headaches. If you are in front of a computer monitor for long periods of time, it is extremely important to close your eyes for a few moments. Blinking frequently can also reduce eye strain. Breathing deeply helps to deliver much needed oxygen to the brain and is a simple way to maintain focus and alertness.

Take a short walk.
– Walking is great for the mind and the body. If you work in a large office building, try climbing a few flights of stairs or walk around your floor. If the weather is pleasant, take a stroll around the grounds or maybe even walk to lunch. If you must drive on your lunch break, consider returning five or ten minutes early and choosing a parking space further from the building.

Schedule an in-office chair massage
– Workplace chair massage is gaining in popularity because of its convenience and immediate results. A massage therapist sets up a massage chair in a small area of the office and in the same time as a typical coffee break, workers can enjoy the stress and pain relieving benefits of therapeutic massage. Chair massage is different from traditional massage because the sessions are short and clients remain fully clothed. Many employers are offering chair massage to their staff members because it is a cost-effective way to increase job satisfaction and worker productivity.

AT HOME:

Get wet.
– Take a relaxing bath. Add fragrant oils or your favorite bubbles and soak away the stresses of the day. Spending 10 minutes in your own private sanctuary will release tension and will leave you feeling refreshed. If you have a pool, swim laps at a relaxed pace, explore underwater or try to maintain a floating position as long as you can hold it. Swimming is a wonderful way to develop breathing techniques that you can use for meditation and stress reduction.

Walk.
– As earlier noted, walking is a simple and effective way to ease the mind and tone the body. Whether it is around the neighborhood or around the yard, walking will help you to unwind and appreciate your surroundings. Spending 15-20 minutes outside also helps the body absorb natural vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D helps to regulate the immune system and works to reduce inflammation.

Try a couple’s massage.
– Why not surprise your partner with a relaxing full body massage? A therapeutic table massage will ease muscle pain and revitalize the spirit. Enjoying a massage together can bring you closer with your partner and is a unique way to show how much they are appreciated. Many companies now offer reasonably priced on-location table massage. Certified massage therapists come to your home and discuss your individual needs. The massage tables are set up side by side so that you and your partner experience the soothing benefits together. Because the tables are easily set up, why not try a massage on the patio or other outside area? The possibilities are endless!

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