Work can be overwhelming and demanding sometimes. It can also take a toll on our mental health. When we find ourselves in this place, we must be willing to change our habits and get focused on creating a workday that we can handle more effectively. Working smarter helps increase productivity without adding extra hours into the workday. Here are five tips to help you with stress and depression at work:
You must get outside during the day at least once, preferably for lunch and two small breaks. I’ve talked about this in previous articles about Earthing. Fifteen minutes of barefoot time on the grass or dirt (no concrete) is electric nutrition to the body. It can rebalance the system in such powerful ways that you won’t recognize the value in this until you try it for yourself. My suggestion is two small breaks just to get outside and breathe fresh air and clear your head. Those breaks don’t need to be more than 5-10 minutes. Lunch break is where the 15 minute Earthing can work double duty for your body and your mind. Eat lunch outside, without shoes. You are not taking away any additional time here, you are simply upping the ante on your mental health while nourishing your body. It’s getting cold so barefoot doesn’t seem quite as appealing, but please do at least a little bit and pair it with some hot soup, or tea to help balance.
Stop and take breaks to stretch and breathe to alter the focus. An easy guide is to roll everything five full times. Inhale for one direction and exhale for the opposite direction (that makes one full time for counting). Roll the neck, shoulders, hips, knees and then point and flex the feet. Follow that up with a whole body shake out and get all the heaviness out of your body. Shake your whole body. Finish by lifting the arms up with an inhale, lowering the arms down with an exhale and repeat the movement of the arms and breathe five times. You will sit back down with a clarity in your body and in your mental behavior – guaranteed. Do this every hour or every other hour for best results.
Compartmentalize your to-do list. Start with the things that have to get done today and only focus on those things. Don’t overwhelm yourself unnecessarily by adding too much pressure on yourself with things that don’t have to be finished right this minute. Then complete each of those tasks. Once you’ve completed all those tasks, then you can tackle the other things that don’t have to be completed today.
Hydrating properly can do so much for your mental health. Being dehydrated is one of the leading causes for the brain fog that we’ve all experienced. Put down the sodas and coffees and choose drinks that are more helpful to the mental requirements of being productive. Water, of course, is the preferred choice. Things like tea: yerba mate tea helps with focus and attention while chamomile helps to calm the mind. Keep a few options close by to change it up according to what you might need at any given time. Be sure to keep healthy snacks nearby and curb the drops in blood sugar by not staying nourished. Keep nuts and seeds and things of that nature nearby so you can grab them and keep the blood sugar stable. Try to minimize the sugars and artificial foods while work snacking. Keep healthy at work and save those cheats for when you’re actually out having fun and able to fully enjoy the more decadent choices.
Lastly, if I’m being true to what I write about body-mind-spirit wellness, I offer this: take stock in yourself and your workplace and do it often. Be sure that you are in the right place, and in the best department within the right place. You might love the company, but wish you could be doing something else within the company. Get clear with what you want and how you can best serve both yourself and the company in a complementary way. Don’t be afraid to have those conversations with the ones who can help you and act accordingly. Don’t talk about it just to talk about it and please do not gripe about any work situations with coworkers. Make an appointment with a therapist if you need to for this. Keep your workspace clean in thoughts and behaviors. Prioritize your goals and do everything you can to keep yourself aligned with those goals. Work with your team to help you be the best you can be in all avenues.