Posted on: Monday, December 12, 2005
Let go of stress while on the job
By DANA KNIGHT
We all know work takes a toll on the body. Tension headaches. Finger cramps from typing. Back pain from sitting.
The pain and stress make it tempting to ask the doctor to prescribe anti-anxiety medication. Or, even more risky, to ask a co-worker for a deep body massage. Hello, lawsuit.
So how about some techniques to self-medicate, self-calm-down and self-soothe?
Read on, and enjoy these tips from author Darrin Zeer's "Office Stress Emergency Kit."
"Perform a simple exercise and you begin to feel the day's stresses and trials melt into pure calm (and) new energy," he says.
Skeptical? Just try them:
The face-lift. Lines seem to appear magically on the face as the work week wears on. To get a refreshed-looking face without Botox, pretend to chew a large piece of gum up and down and side to side with your mouth open. Squeeze your eyes shut and move your eyebrows up and down. Massage your cheekbones, forehead and temples. Look in the mirror. Ten years just disappeared.
Lack of focus. When you get distracted, place your right thumb against your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Hold your breath and close your left nostril with your index finger. Release right thumb and exhale slowly. Repeat.
E-motional. E-mail can be ultra-stressful with all that information bombarding you. While you are reading, breathe slowly. Simply make the out-breath two times longer than the in-breath, and you'll be calmed immediately.
Anxiety and fatigue. Fill a spray bottle with eight tablespoons of cool water. Add four drops of lavender essential oil and shake. With your eyes closed, mist your face and take a deep breath.
Eyestrain. Some of us stare at a computer 12 hours a day. To keep eyes healthy, refocus every 10 minutes by looking away from the computer and around the office. Roll your eyes in circles in both directions. Once every hour, close your eyes for 60 seconds.
Empty-elevator exercise. To loosen up, place your hands on your hips. With your legs apart, bend both knees slightly and make wide circles with your hips. Breathe deeply and move in both directions.
Headache. Use acupressure. Place your index fingers just above each eyebrow. Press and hold. Massage.
The day is over. Just because it's quitting time doesn't mean the stress will melt away automatically. Place one hand on your stomach and breathe slowly and deeply. Feel your hand rise and fall on your stomach and let your shoulders drop.
You're renewed. Head home and do it all again tomorrow.