“When was the last time you were fully present at work? Begin to find healthy ways for you and your colleagues to let go, and in doing so, become more mindful in your everyday activities.”

-Rose Caiola

5 tips to reduce job-related tension

The reality script, I am told by most, looks like this: your dreadful Monday begins when you wake up groggy after a battle with your alarm clock, which you slam to snooze three times. You calm yourself with the reminder that you will sleep in on the weekend. In the midst of hurrying not to be tardy, you pause for a moment to wish once again that your breakfast and coffee came in a pill. You restart the mad morning dash, decide to skip breakfast and make plans to grab a cup of coffee – or two – on the way to work. A quick glance in the mirror and you decide your hair really doesn’t need to be washed and can be combed during the commute. Into blaring horns and gridlock traffic, you squeeze yourself into the matrix of the rat race.

Exhausted at work, you choose quick carb and sugar pick-me-up culinary fare. All day at work, you’re glued to your phone, computer and iPad, and return home too tuckered out to go to the gym. You will take that kickboxing class tomorrow. To unwind, you sit in front of the television. Your to-do list haunts you more than your bucket list tantalizes, so you work for one more hour in bed. The grand finale? Your rapid-fire thoughts, as unwanted guests, assault your mind in your sleep-deprived night.

Don’t worry, relief is on its way.

Living in today’s fast-paced environment requires specific strategies and finesse to overcome the bombardment of stimuli and stressors. In our time-starved culture, you need simple techniques to feel and look fabulous. Rather than always running to relax, inquire into what drains you and what truly nourishes. It’s imperative to learn to unplug, and to remember you are not enslaved by electronic devices.

With proper tricks and knowledge, you can begin to be relaxed, alert, energetic, and have breathing room while being organized and tech-savvy. The crucial secret? Start making fresh air, healthy relationships, peaceful sleep and proper food choices a priority in your life.

Five tips to take stress out of your workday:

  • Start your morning with a glass of hot water and remember to stay hydrated throughout the day:
    Your body gets dehydrated at night. Drinking hot water in the morning will help cleanse toxins and replenish you while your stomach is empty. Remember to drink water during the day. Many a bad mood, headache and lethargic drone can be resolved by staying hydrated.
  • Focus when working, and focus when playing:
    Focus, contrary to its bad rap, actually gives you energy; it doesn’t rob you of it. Proper focus also brings relaxation, which keeps you looking young. It’s when we are scattered that we lose energy. Be present with what’s in front of you. Don’t think about work and to-do lists while spending time with cherished loved ones. Don’t long to be on vacation or count the minutes until you’ll be out of the office when at work.
  • Get into your feet and the magic golf ball:
    The fastest way to get out of your head is to get into your feet. A quick trick for getting calm is to literally remember your feet when you are stressed or in a hustle. Take a moment and feel your feet against the ground when you walk or when you are standing, and let the stress from your head drop to your feet.

A well-known ballet dancer’s secret to feel-good feet is the magic golf ball. It’s quite simple; all you need is a golf ball. Start your morning and end your night this way: Roll your feet back and forth on the golf ball, one foot at a time, spending extra time on pressure points that are sore. The rejuvenation for your mind and body are amazing.

  • The Evernote app — the magic organization tool:
    This app alone is huge stress-reducer. Evernote is an online and offline organizer for all your research, pictures, notes and ideas. It’s also a repository for all your Web favorites, which you can access with a press of their Web Clipper icon. Dream about going paperless? This may be your ticket. It syncs across your iPad, computer and phone. Research it online to find out more juicy details and download it for free ASAP.
  • The two P’s — pausing and portions:
    Take a moment to insert a pause in all stressful situations before you react, so you can respond instead. Place your fork down in between bites. Pause. Be mindful during your meals. This will allow you to recognize when you are full and not overeat.

Pare your portions: practice eating less at each meal. Healthy digestion includes digesting not only your food, but also your daily situations. Believe it or not, eating a small amount of your favorite food may give you more satisfaction than subtly forcing yourself to eat more of something you don’t want.

Start putting these tips into practice, and enjoy stress relief from your work-day on a daily basis.

This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post and is republished here with permission.

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