3 tips to slow down a hectic workday

Our days can be a blurred fog of going from point A to point B. We are focused on starting and finishing tasks, checking off lists and, most often, placating a coworker’s needs and demands. We are surrounded by endless emails to answer and deadlines to meet. We watch as the clock ticks away and our shoulders crunch up to our ears with tension, yet our breath rises and falls alongside — the hands of a clock, carefully counting: seconds, minutes, hours of doing.

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We listen for and hear the ding of the inbox, the swoosh of the outbox, the bells and whistles of our phones with calls, status updates and posts. We chew fast, and we choke down and work with one hand as we eat with the other. We have perfected the art of doing and often sacrificed the art of living. Our unyielding attention to surviving the busyness of business can cause stress and make us feel constrained. Here are three tips to decrease stress and create more spaciousness during your workday.

1. Breathe

What if we briefly brought our attention to our breath and the ebb and flow of oxygen cascading, nourishing and moving in and through our body? What if everytime you sent or received an email you took an inhalation and exhalation? Bringing our minds to our breath, however short-lived, adds balance. When the breath is pointedly regarded, it becomes a tool — an anchor to the now and an outlet to release stress. Take a deep inhalation, exhale, and repeat 10 times, closing your eyes if possible.

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2. Step away from the crazy

There are days and then there are days. Not everything can be unicorns and rainbows, but one can certainly keep more positivity in their day by not absorbing the negative vibes of others. When something or someone is bringing you down, try to take a moment and detach from the situation physically and emotionally — meaning just step away from the crazy. Even if just for a couple of minutes, go somewhere that person isn’t, or better yet, find a friend in order to stay balanced with positive energy.

3. Savor lunch

Enjoying food can be realistic and rewarding in daily life. But being mindful with food doesn’t mean you’re picnicking and making an event of each meal. Savoring means we focus on the present to more thoroughly enjoy our food and how it is nourishing our bodies. Notice the beauty, color and texture. Chew slowly, taste the flavor and relish every bite as it washes through your senses. Feel gratitude — enjoy!

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