NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

5 Tips for Stress Relief at Work

You’re at work, and you’re feeling sore & stressed – that knot between your shoulder blades is trying to give you a headache, and that one co-worker that gets on your nerves is headed in your direction. What are you to do? Here are 5 quick tips –

1- Use a tennis ball – A great tool to soothe sore feet & massage unreachable knots. Check earlier posts to show you how!

2- Your favorite tea – Teas with low levels of caffeine helps reduce stress levels.  Using honey instead of sugar helps regulate your blood sugar and won’t contribute to a sugar crash. It also causes you to get up & make the tea. (Get the blood moving!)

David Lister using Tension Sheets (bubble wrap, painted red) to de-stress on UK's 'Red Dwarf'.

David Lister using Tension Sheets (bubble wrap, painted red) to de-stress on UK’s ‘Red Dwarf’.

3- A sheet of bubble wrap – or what the TV show ‘Red Dwarf’ calls a Tension Sheet. Popping the little bubbles whether one at a time, or all at once reduces stress level. I’ve even put a sheet down on a tiled floor & run an office chair over it. Yes, it looked silly, but I really felt a lot better when I ran out of bubbles to pop!

4- Aromatherapy – studies show using essential oils such as lavender and lemongrass reduces stress & increases calm.

5- Soothing music playlist– music soothes the savage beast, it can also reduce stress levels. I have a Silly Song playlist, so I can de-stress at the office or on the road. I even go as far as to give really silly ringtones to calls that can be stressful. That way when I hear them, it makes me laugh a little, taking the stress out of answering the phone.  Music that tends to have a faster beat in stressful situations, tend to drive up stress levels. (Besides, who listens to ‘Bodies’ to de-stress?) You wouldn’t have to listen to it all day; just a few minutes when you’re stressed goes a long way!

Seated Stretches

2 Great Stretches to help you throughout the day.

BONUS – A good Stretching routine- you’ve been sitting at your desk for a while, and you hadn’t stretched in a few hours, admit it.  Get your blood moving & loosen up those tight muscles!

Here are a few good ideas – what are YOURS? I’d love to know!

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Body Language, Body Language…

Body Language, Body Language...

You know it’s coming…it’s almost the end of the day, and you’re looking forward to getting out of the office, and someone comes up to you and asks,

“Can you stay late/ finish the project/ start a new project? OK, thanks!”

You tend to notice that that doesn’t usually happen first thing in the morning, right? People can tell when it’s the best time to ask you for things, because your body is telling them!

When you arrive in the morning, you tend to look alert, shoulders back, head up, eyes alert. People who want to stress you out aren’t coming to mess with you, because they know they can’t get away with it. You’re on to them, and they may get a ‘NO’ right off the bat.

As the day progresses, and you’ve been sitting at that desk all day. You’re tired, you haven’t been stretching, and you are ready to just go home. That’s when General Foolishness wants to strike! Your shoulders are rolled forward, head bowed in near defeat – you are just asking them to give you grief!

Take time throughout the day to stretch, and take a walk to get the blood moving! The stretching will improve your posture, and reduce tension.

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Get a Move On!

Today is National Walking Day! With the weather getting warmer, this day couldn’t come soon enough!

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It is estimated that the average person gets less than 5,000 steps a day. Since I work at home, I can see how that can be the case – taking lunch at your desk, working longer hours, not taking time to stretch – all are contributors to a sedentary lifestyle. When I get that feeling to walk though, I get those headphones on, and out the door I go! Not necessarily for exercise purposes, but to clear my head, to get out of the house, and just enjoy being outside.

If you want to be a goal-oriented walker, there are pedometers that you can clip to your hip, and measure your overall step count. If you are more of a tech-head, there are plenty of apps and accessories that can help you measure your overall health, not just your steps. The FitBit or the Fuel Bracelet by Nike you set your goals, and it measures your activity. The more active you are, the higher the score! The All-In Pedometer, which is the app I have for my phone, measures my step count, my pace, heart rate, calories burned, and it sets it to my playlist, so I can get going. It also reminds me (often) that I haven’t been as active as I should be, so I can get out there.

Whatever reason you decide to get out there and walk, JUST DO IT! Walk in a group, or by yourself, with your “Move It” playlist, or enjoying nature’s playlist, walking is about the cheapest form of exercise there is. Get out there, and enjoy the day!

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