A stress ball can only go so far. What sights, smells, sounds and small comforts can help turn your desk into a mental and physical place of relaxation?
The statistics are quite revealing – more than 40% of adults report that work stress is “very or extremely stressful.” A professional may have 50-100 unique tasks or projects in play at any given time, and today’s litany of distracting mobile devices and social media streams can inhibit productivity and incite additional stress. Office stress is real, but there is something you can do about it – convert your desk area into a work sanctuary!
Here are the 4 S’s on how to reduce work stress:
Work Stress Tip 1: Sights
One of the easiest ways to minimize stress at work is to create pleasing sightlines for the eyes. Consider spending an hour or two de-cluttering your workspace. You’ll feel lighter, less affected by the “noise” of the office, and you’ll minimize distractions that can quickly derail even the most productive of employees. Make sure to tidy up each night before you go home so you return to a fresh and organized workspace the next morning.
You can also create visual harmony by adding some personal touches from home. Bring your favorite accent pillow and use it as a back support for your desk chair. It’ll remind you of your happy home and can add some life to the office’s décor. Clean up, minimize clutter, and add a few personal touches to enhance the overall look and feel of your work desk.
Work Stress Tip 2: Smells
Instead of relying on an aerosol can of room air freshener to brighten up the smell of your office, consider a natural remedy. Bring in living plants that can naturally freshen the air, while adding a sense of organic beauty to the office. If you’re near a window, consider using natural light to keep your plants or flowers healthy – they’ll thrive and you’ll feel great seeing something alive and green right in front of you each day.
Other stress reducing products include natural air fresheners like teakwood wick sticks that can be soaked in a specially-fragranced oil, or any of a variety of scent diffusers on the market today. Scents that have proven over time to deliver a sense of calm are: lemon, rosemary, cinnamon, lavender, and pine. Just be sure your coworkers aren’t sensitive to any scents before you bring them into the office.
Work Stress Tip 5: Sounds
Isn’t it outrageous to think that office productivity generally increases when some background noise is allowed in the workspace? Background noise generators can help to relax the mind, aid in concentration, and minimize anxiety for some individuals. Something as seemingly basic as streaming music through your phone while working can help hone your focus during the day – just make sure to keep your device properly charged and cradled so it’s always ready to go.
Work Stress Tip 4: Small Comforts
There is a reason why stress balls and other desk gadgets are such popular stress reducing products – they really work to minimize anxiety and enhance productivity. Take a three-minute break each hour to de-stress with a favorite stress reliever or other anxiety-management desk product, then watch as you work more efficiently and concentrate more effectively throughout the day.
Creating a small sanctuary in the workplace isn’t as hard as it sounds. Focus on the aesthetics of your work area, the smells and sounds of your workspace, and the stress-relieving items you choose to keep at arm’s reach. Do so, and you’ll start to feel better almost immediately and kick work stress to the curb!