How many of you have made a run for the bathroom to cry? Have you waited for the redness in eyes to disappear so you could go back to your desk? Have you been running around in office lately, without a single clue of what you were doing? Or have you just wanted to quit and run away from all of your problems? Why, I have experienced all of these (Face-palming face with shameful laugh). The first thing to start is:-
1. Breathing exercise – Not just as simple as it sounds
My reaction when a massage therapist at Urban Massage told me that the breathing exercise really helps by was, “Are you sure? That helps?” I mean, you have to breathe to survive and I have been practicing yoga for quite a long time now, so I know calming down means inhaling and exhaling slowly and repeat the same process 10 more times (Laughs). However, what she meant was to inhale and HOLD for 5 seconds, and then exhale. She explained that if you breathe like you normally do, your brain performance will remain the same. Well, that makes sense. Now, I love to do this exercise a couple of times every day, using my Apple watch – all I have to do is empty my mind.
2. Camomile Tea with a teaspoon of Manuka honey
99.9% of my stress comes from work. Although the amount of stress does not seem too big, but it affects my performance at work. You think that your performance at work is going down is because a lack of energy, so you give yourself a quick fix – either a cup of Americano or espresso. However, 15 minutes later, (Oh no!) the anxious feeling starts to kick in, bringing up hundreds of question in your head, which does not help at all. So please, abstain from consuming any drink that has caffeine in it, even black tea or energy drink. Instead, have a cup of warm camomile tea served with just one teaspoon of Manuka honey, then go somewhere else (away from your desk) and enjoy it for 5 minutes. You will be amazed at how helpful just one cup of this brew will prove to be.
3. Refreshing mist that smells A-M-A-Z-I-N-G
Invest in an absolutely amazing facial spray and store it in a fridge. I, personally, use Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist, as the smell is not very artificial and it has a very subtle rose scent. Believe it or not, spritzing it onto my face completely refreshes my focus and takes away 0.01% of the stress off. (Pro tip: Storing it in a fridge is perfect for all seasons, especially in winter.) The mist works best in the freezing weather because it truly gives me a pick-me-up effect.
4. Go for a quick walk with your favourite playlist
I have learnt this trick from ‘Happiness by Design’ by Paul Dolan. You have to create a playlist that includes all your favourite songs tracks and name the playlist with a positive label, but try to avoid songs from the electronic dance music genre. I have found that EDM does not prove to be as effective. It will most likely just end up generating an anxious attack during an already stressful time (Sad, but true). If you think going for a quick walk isn’t that productive, you can always treat it as a grocery run. Much better, right? Time for a snack! Give yourself a mini break to distract yourself from stress for a short period of time. You totally deserve it. It will definitely reduce the stress, at least slightly (and even that counts for something).
5. Regroup whatever you are working on!
If you still think you don’t have the time to implement any of the above tips, this is an answer for you! I am guessing you probably have millions of questions that stress you out and drive you insane? Like “how should I do this or that?” “I am running of time…” All you have to do is, THINK clearly before you decide on a certain plan of action, and not panic! You can do this. Ask yourself what your key priority is, and list down all incomplete works. If you only have one major task at hand, image the task is similar to making Sunday roast – you have to break it down to pieces, like the case of slow-roasted short ribs, eggy Yorkshire pudding, or the perfect rich gravy. TA-DA! The stress is, officially, gone.