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Workplace Stress Management Techniques

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Many studies will suggest that a good night’s rest and a proper diet can help to alleviate stress over time. We think we speak for everyone when we say that everyone could use a solid 8-10 hours of sleep and a healthy, hearty meal, but what about those times when stress suddenly waves through your mind and body?

Fortunately, we’ve highlighted some quick, easy stress management techniques that can help you get through some of those trying, bothersome situations.

1: Get On Your Feet

Walking is perhaps the simplest way to overcome stress in a short period of time. Just received a poorly-worded email? Walk it out. Preparing for a meeting that may determine the future of your business? Walk it out. Just got word of a shorter deadline? You guessed it. Walk it out!

Guy walking across white background

Walking  is such a positive way to cope with stress, especially when you’ve spent a large part of the day in a chair. Take a walk around the block, or to the restroom, or even to the breakroom. No matter the destination, each step you take will eventually encourage stress relief.

2: Roll it Out

It’s quite common to experience muscle tension when undergoing stress. When this happens, you can “roll it out” in several ways:

Neck Roll:

Begin by looking straight forward. Gently tilt your head to the right, ear toward your shoulder. Then, roll your head down, forward, and to the left,  finishing with your left ear toward your shoulder. Roll your head down, forward and back to the right again.  Repeat 3-5 times, and as often as needed throughout your day.  

What it does: Performing neck rolls at your desk stretches the neck muscles and improves the mobility of the cervical spine, relieving any stiffness or discomfort associated with neck strain and pain. Note: Avoid rolling your head back on these. This can actually put some extrastress on your spine.

Useful head exercises

Shoulder Rolls:

With your arms at your sides, sit up straight & put your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, slowly roll your shoulders up,  backward and down in a circular motion.  With each backward roll, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Repeat 5-10 times and as often as you need throughout the day.

What it does

Shoulder rolls help warm up the muscles, and improve joint mobility.. Best of all, they are a great way to relieve tension and accumulated stress in your shoulders. Why not roll forward? Forward rolls only promote poor, slouching posture and rounded shoulders, that increases the stress on your neck, upper back and shoulders.Backward shoulder rolls actually help promote and improve strong, upright posture.

3: Toe Tensing

Toe Tensing helps to release muscle tension in your body. While it is usually done laying down, you can still do this at your desk! Simply pull all ten toes toward your face and hold for 10-seconds. Then, relax your toes for 10 seconds. Repeat both actions about 5-10 times.

What it does

Toe tensing is a good way to draw and relieve tension you may be unknowingly experiencing in other parts of your body.

4: Self-Massaging Techniques

When stress strikes at work, some dream of being whisked away to an all-inclusive spa to feel rejuvenated and relaxed. Then, reality hits and that task still has to get done before corporate heads begin to roll. That’s why it’s helpful to know these quick and easy self-massage and myofascial release techniques that allow for stress relief:

Neck Release:

The most common reasons for neck pain stem from many hours spent in front of a computer screen or tilting the head down to view an electronic device or tablet. Neck pain of any kind is uncomfortable and can seriously affect overall work performance. When you experience stress-related neck pain, you should:

Make  C-shapes with your hands, keeping fingers close together. Use the hook of your fingers to grasp each side of your neck. Keep fingers off the spine. Point your elbows straight in front of you, and let them slowly drop down.  Allow the  weight of your arms to naturally slide your fingers along the sides of your neck

Neck massage graphic

What it Does

This neck release technique is great because it is considered a non-invasive form of therapy and doesn’t involve smelly, sticky oils. Performing this technique relieves muscle tension and achieves better movement of the neck. That’ll sure delay a well-deserved trip to your local chiropractor or massage therapist.

Shoulder Release:

Have you been hunching your shoulders for too long after long hours in front of the computer?

Try the shoulder release technique!  Here’s how:

Using the same C-shape, reach across to opposite shoulder and grasp the trapezius muscle (top of shoulder). Try to start at the back of the top of shoulder. Let your elbow gently drop down so that your  hand slowly slides forward, over the bulk of the muscle.

What it Does

the trapezius muscle is quick to respond to stress and easily gets bound up and tight.  The Shoulder Release Technique relieves soreness, tension and muscle spasm here.. This is yet another great way to practice stress relief right at your desk!

Hand Massage:

After a long, hard day of work, the amount of stress the hand undergoes isn’t something most people think about. That’s why it’s important to do this hand massage technique regularly, especially if your job requires moderate to excessive use of your hands.

Grasp one hand with fingers on the back of hand and thumb on palm-side.  Use your thumb to massage your other hand. Start at the meaty part of hand at the base of your thumb, and circle your thumb up toward your knuckles and out to the small finger. As your thumb passes over, you should feel each of the bones of your hand rise and fall under your massaging thumb.

Hand hurts while on laptop

What it Does

This technique helps you to find, tender, sore spots, so it’s best to start off light at first and eventually work your thumbs into a deeper, relaxing massage. It will relieve tension in your hands and  reduce stiffness.

As we continue to live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with stress and anxiety, it’s so important to strive to be our best selves, even when we encounter the worst high-pressure situations in the workplace. These stress management techniques are some of many that can be done within the comfort of your own workspace. If you want to learn more about how to properly manage stress, let us know!

P.S. If someone you know works a full-time job and exclaims that they don’t experience stress, run far away. Or figure out what their secret is. Then tell us. Sharing is caring, after all. :)

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