Surviving a Stressful Day at Work

Last week, I hung the November cover of Real Simple above my desk because food and pretty pictures make me smile.

Last week, I hung the November cover of Real Simple above my desk because food and pretty pictures make me smile.

How do you know if you need tips for surviving a stressful day at work? Well, if you’re not a trust fund baby and you’re not reading this blog post from your yacht, I’m guessing you may have had a stressful day on the job at some point. Maybe your co-workers are driving you insane. Maybe you just launched a huge project and everyone around you is short on sleep. Maybe the guy that keeps blowing his nose 2 cubicles down is making you a little sick to your stomach.

Or maybe all your creativity is zapped and you are considering giving it all up for a career as a mall manikin for the holiday season so you can just stand there quietly all day as people point and stare.

Whatever your case may be, here are a few tricks that have calmed my addled brain lately.

Focus on your breath. You don’t have to be “Oprah’s favorite spirit junkie” to “get your om on.” (Although, this article on The Coveteur is pretty great.) Taking a minute to quiet yourself and focus on your breathing can immediately calm you down. If you’re having trouble calming a racing mind, try taking one minute and repeating a phrase. I often recite a short scripture and, as I repeat it, the scripture becomes my point of concentration.

Clear your mind.

Carry some peppermint oil in your purse. I am a recent essential oil convert and while I don’t want to smell like a hippie any more than you do, peppermint oil is pretty magical. Inhale for a quick calm. Likewise, a single drop rubbed on your temples and/or the nape of your neck, can relieve some headaches.

Take a 5 minute walk. Get your blood flowing. Walk off some energy. Swing your arms. Dance a jig. Enjoy a change of scenery.

Starbucks at Scripps

Find a small daily ritual that’s just for you. Me? I indulge in a 2 o’clock cappuccino. There’s something about spending a little extra cash on a fancy, hot beverage made by someone else in a noisy machine that really elevates my afternoon. It’s the little things.

Bookmark a little pick-me-up. This is usually mine.

One last thing: Your granny was right when she told you to “Hush!” Try to get quiet on your way home. If you’ve had a hard day, the last thing you need to do is come home and spew your crazy all over your loved ones. Drive home without the radio on. Put white noise through your earbuds on the subway. (This is my favorite white noise app.) Be quiet until you’re thinking clearly, and then arrive home with joy.

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