You have multiple deadlines, meetings to go to and calls to make, and you’re not feeling up to any of it. There are plenty of ways to recharge, so you can go strong during those particularly long workdays.
1. Take a Walk
If you have a desk job and you’re feeling sluggish, take a few minutes to get up, stretch your legs and take a walk — yes, even though you have that deadline. In addition to all the health benefits walking offers, physical activity stimulates the same brain chemicals that make you happier and ease stress.
2. Unplug During Breaks
You’re checking emails, answering your phone and looking at a computer screen for the most of the day, so when you take your break, unplug! Resist the urge to check email or social media on your phone or tablet. Instead, read a book, take a walk or find a quiet spot to meditate. Being constantly connected will only allow others disrupt your “me” time.
3. Listen to Your Favorite Playlist
Keep those ear buds handy. Listening to music — particularly classical music — can help soothe and relax you when you’re burnt out. Research suggests that music can also improve learning and memory skills, commonly known as the “Mozart Effect.”
4. Have Lunch with a Friend
Getting away from the daily grind might be the key to a refreshing second half of the day. Make a lunch date with a friend and have a pleasant conversation (yes, venting about work is allowed) in order to recharge.
5. Change Up Your Routine
When you become a creature of habit, you can start to go on autopilot. Why not change up your routine a bit? Go in early. Avoid checking email first thing, if that’s what you normally do, or cancel the daily meeting if it isn’t really necessary today (and you’re in charge of it). You might find yourself being more productive and feeling replenished after switching things up, even just a little bit.
If you’re not drinking enough water, you can find yourself not feeling 100 percent, especially if you’re pushing yourself at work. In fact, if you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. Keep a tall glass of water at your desk and drink throughout the day to help avoid fatigue and other issues resulting from dehydration, such as headaches.
7. Eat a Healthy Snack
As blood sugar dips, so can your energy level. Have a snack with both carbs and protein — apples with peanut butter or tuna with whole-wheat crackers, for example, to give you the fuel you need to stay on task.
8. Breathe Deeply
Breathing is a relaxation technique you can do anywhere in the world — including right at your workspace. Focus on taking regular, deep breaths — this stimulates the parasympathetic reaction, creating a state of inner calmness and relaxation.
9. Shorten Long Meetings
Those long meetings are draining and often repetitive. Instead of scheduling a one-hour meeting with colleagues, schedule a half-hour meeting. Make an agenda of what will be discussed, and schedule it down to the minute. Everyone will know time is limited, and they need to keep it short and sweet. If everything doesn’t get said, you can always schedule a follow-up, but chances are you won’t need to.
10. Hang Out at the Water Cooler
Socializing with coworkers doesn’t just give you a break (and maybe a laugh) – it also helps you develop important relationships. Let’s face it: you probably spend as much time with your coworkers as you do with your spouse or friends outside of work. Growing and nurturing those relationships helps you maintain a positive work environment.
Meditation can help alleviate any stress that might be holding you back. While you meditate, rid your mind of all of the tasks, meetings, deadlines and things on your to-do list. Focus on your well being to help you feel refreshed.
12. Use Essential Oils
Did you know the smell of peppermint oil can give you a lift? And eucalyptus may ease stress and headaches? It’s worth a trip to your local health food store to try a few calming and recharging scents to see if they work for you.
13. Sit Up
How’s your posture right now? (You just sat up straighter, didn’t you?) Keep what’s called neutral body positioning — that means sitting with your back straight, your head forward and your feet flat on the floor. This reduces muscle strain and discomfort.
14. De-clutter Your Workspace
Of course you’re stressed if your desk is a mess! Getting organized can help ease your mind, and when everything’s easy to find, you’re more productive.
15. Have a Cup of Tea
Studies suggest that tea has many health benefits and rejuvenating effects. Certain teas may even improve heart health, reduce the risk of certain cancers, improve your metabolism and even boost brain health. Drink up!
16. Give Yourself a Massage
According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage can increase energy and lower stress. Give yourself a tension-relieving massage at your desk by rubbing your temples in a circular motion, or do a hand massage by rubbing your palm with your thumb while applying firm pressure.
17. Go Outside
Being stuck inside an office can wreak havoc on your mood. A little fresh air and sunlight might be all you need. According to Harvard Medical School’s Health Publications, your vitamin D level rises when you’re exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D can protect against depression.
Go find your funniest coworker and strike up a conversation. Studies say happiness doesn’t just make you laugh — laughing makes you happy too. Bonus: When you laugh, it can help induce a positive emotional response in others.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA): https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/positions.html
American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2004/09/bachorowski.aspx
Harvard Medical School: http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/spending-time-outdoors-is-good-for-you