Write a blog? Hmm … makes me nervous, makes my palms sweat – I should just relax, breathe, and take a moment to think. That should help clear my head … at least that’s what I tell my students while teaching a yoga class!

Taking a few minutes of your workday to relax can be very beneficial for your physical and mental health. When you feel as though there is NO way you can do a project, or look at another face (besides your own reflection in your computer) … take a moment and walk away from your desk. Take a deep breath, go to the kitchen for a snack or beverage, even take a stroll around your office or building.

When I teach a yoga class, some people rush into the studio from a busy day at work and you can cut the anxiety and stress with a knife as they whirl by. Once they sit down, and take a deep breath, there is a great sense of ease that floods over everyone. Imagine if we all relaxed this way throughout the workday?

So what can you do to stop those frustrations and keep a clear head (besides move to a deserted island)? Try to incorporate physical activity and proper eating habits into your workday. It’s not only good for yourself and your personal life, but good for your work life and productivity.

Here are a few tips:

  1. We all know the old trick – take the stairs instead of the elevator and keep those legs moving.
  2. Try fresh, healthy snack options. Dump the cookies and cakes – try veggies, nuts, fruit, etc.
  3. Pack your lunch! One of the best habits you can get into is getting in the kitchen and cooking your food. It’s the best way to control food portions, and eliminate preservatives and grease!
  4. Organizing a lunch and learn for the office? Instead of pizza and pop try healthier options like light sandwiches/wraps and salad.
  5. Water, water, water … we’ve heard it before – drink more water! Hate drinking plain, ol water? Try infusing it with fruit and herbs… strawberry and basil, cucumber and mint, melon and lime – the options are endless!
  6. Cut down on coffee. Coffee can have the reverse effect than you’re looking for: irritability, upset stomach, muscle tremors and increased heartbeat. Try stocking your cupboard or desk with herbal tea for when that warm beverage craving kicks in.
  7. Take your work events outdoor with some light activity. Team building is a great work activity – try a fun physical activity in the fresh air to bring everyone together.
  8. Exercise at lunch. Some businesses have corporate rates for local gyms. Some gyms and/or yoga studios have special daytime lunch rates to take advantage of!
  9. Perhaps the gym is too far? Organize a walking group with co-workers so you can get outside into the fresh air and provide each other with encouragement.
  10. Fresh air. When you feel yourself getting stressed – don’t sit and brew on it at your desk… walk away for a breath of fresh air … you’d be surprised how approachable you can be when you’re back 😉

With fall upon us, it’s a perfect time to evaluate your daily routine and activities. Take a moment to assess what you’d like to do in the upcoming winter, and celebrate what you’ve done and accomplished in the past year.

Getting into the groove of these things isn’t always easy. But once you do, it’s rewarding. I’m sure you’ve experienced the moment of “I don’t want to go to the gym” … then once you’re done, you say, “Wow, I’m so glad I went.” Take the transition one step at a time; you’ll begin to notice the difference it makes in yourself, your personal life, and of course – your work.

Kristen Amies, Senior Graphic Designer