We have all heard that too much stress can lead to serious health problems. It can be hard to take a moment for ourselves to destress, especially in today’s workaholic society where “stressed out” is the new normal. Excess stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, digestive problems, depression, sleep disturbances, and imbalances in our metabolism. Excess stress is also associated with weight gain, because a high level of the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to increase appetite, drive cravings for junk food, and increase our abdominal fat.
Whether you love your job or not, work can be a source of stress in our lives. Try to include one of these tips in your daily work routine to help you de-stress:
- HYDRATE: Keep a post-it note on your desk at work to remind you to drink more aqua; sometimes we get caught up in our work and forget to drink. Think “Out of sight, out of mind”; if we see a water bottle on our desk, we are more likely to drink water.
- GET UP: Sitting for long periods of time wreaks havoc on our health, even if we get in our morning workout. Make sure to get up every hour and take a short walk to stretch out your limbs. This can be accomplished by walking over to a co-workers desk instead of writing an email; filling up your water bottle; or just taking a trip to the restroom.
- HIGH FIVE: a happy work environment can eliminate a lot of stress from your job. High fiving has been shown to increase the hormone oxytocin (the “trust” or “hug” hormone) and reduce the hormone cortisol.
- TAKE A WALK: Take a walk at lunch with a friend, and get some fresh air! If you have a business call, put in your earbuds and take it to the pavement. You can also try listening to a new podcast or book!
- WRITE IT DOWN: Write down 1 thing that makes you grateful each day. There is always someone out there working hard to get to where you currently are, and taking a few minutes each day to appreciate it does wonders for our mind! It does not have to be different each day, and “having a job” can be one of them.
- SNOOZE DURING LUNCH: A lot of us are not taking a lunch break, and are instead working through it. Make sure to use your time wisely, and you can even recharge with a nap. To beat the afternoon slump, drink 1 cup of coffee and nap for 20 minutes; that is how long it takes for the effects of coffee to kick in so when you wake up you will feel extra recharged!
- PARK IT: Park at the back of the parking lot to get some extra steps in! A bonus is that most likely you will always get a spot.
- STRETCH: Make sure to get up and stretch if you are sitting at your desk for long periods of time. Stretching can be an instant mood booster, too!
Article adapted from Huffington Post and SnackNation