Blink 182 was onto something with “Work sucks,” even if it was screamed predominantly at middle school dances.
Projects and emails can pile up fast, leaving you wondering how you can get everything done without the help of your dear old friend Red Bull.
When the stress builds up, you need to know how to unwind quickly. Here are three quick ways to de-stress at your desk.
Take more breaks
It sounds obvious, but we can forget to take breaks from our work outside of lunches and the occasional coffee run. If you're spending hours staring at a computer screen or hunched over a drawing desk, you can lose track of time - and your mind.
Rather than grind for 8-9 hours straight, set aside some break time during your assignments. For every hour of work, give yourself 5-10 minutes to relax, check your phone or surf Reddit. It's best to set a timer to remind yourself both when to break and when to get back to work. You don't want to get lost in another r/conspiracy thread about mole people in NYC.
Listen to music
Everyone is different when it comes to working with music; one office may not allow headphones, while others encourage workers to plug in and grind away. You may also find yourself distracted if you're listening to something new.
Throw on some over-ear headphones to block out any outside noise, and pick music that keeps you zoned in on your work and zoned out on stress. Try out different sounds until you find the right one - maybe it's the soothing voice of Michael Bolton or the robotic trance of Daft Punk's “Alive 2007.” Whatever you choose, use it to center yourself when the stress starts to pile up.
Try to meditate
No, you don't need to be one of those people who brings a yoga mat to the office and preaches to coworkers about the “healing powers of your yogi.” But you can take a few minutes to clear your mind with some small meditative measures.
Close your eyes and focus on taking deep, controlled breaths. Keep your breathing consistent, never letting your mind push yourself to change pace. Rather than dwell on your to-do list, backed-up inbox or the annoying way Janice eats her lunch, count every breath without straying to other thoughts. If you do, start over until you can count right up to 60.
Work can feel endless, but it doesn't have to be with these hacks. Try them out the next time you want to scream at Bryan for playing music without headphones on for the 10th day in a row.