How to Maintain a Stress Free Office SpaceOkay, so we all have been there (or are there currently). We’re stressed at work. (Don’t worry boss, I’m not stressed … today). Anyway, we all worry about big things, small things. Things that are seemingly unimportant to our co-workers but all we’re hearing is this screaming voice that keeps repeating HELLO?! COME ON! LET’S GO! And it absolutely, terrifyingly, completely stinks. Hard. So I’m here to try and tell you how to maintain a stress free office space without sounding like a know it all. This list has been comprised with things that make me happy, calm me down, distract me for a little while, or let me focus better. And maybe (hopefully) it can help you too! Here's to your stress free office space!
1. Coordinate Your DrawersOkay, so whenever I look at my pens and markers drawer (below), I smile. It could be that little bit of OCD in me, it could be the fact that I was super proud to have organized something, or it could just be because who doesn’t love color coordination? I sometimes just pull out the drawer to either admire it or fix it up a bit ... you know move some markers around, change the colors around, etc. And yes, I did this just before I wrote this sentence. It’s something that distracts and something that appeals to the eye. Both likely to let your mind let go of the stressors at least for a little.
2. Keep Trinkets on Your Desk that Mean Something to YouAgain, this goes along with the 'take a breath and let your mind go elsewhere' idea. Even when I’m typing this I can see my amazing trinkets and have a smile on my face. My Scarlet Witch is a part of our marketing team. Each of us is an Avenger and we all have a Funko to go with it. It’s something that shows me how lucky I am to work with such great people. Mr. Met reminds me that baseball is coming soon and that my favorite team will be on their way to the World Series again. Only thing is … this Funko might stress me out when they do finally make it in October. (I’ll keep you updated). And Yoda reminds me ‘do or do not, there is no try’. So after I’m done taking that breather, my stress free office space motivates me to get back to work! Remember to bring things that mean something to you into the office. It’ll remind you that the office isn’t everything and that life has meaning outside of work. And that’s totally okay. If you’re a fan of work, it’ll let you know that when times are stressful, at least you get to go home in a few hours to the things you love (like that family picture that should be on everyone’s desk. Yeah I should have one … I know dad).
3. Listen to music / Read an article / Watch a videoESSENTIAL for a stress free office space. Need to focus but all of that clicking, phone ringing, and other white noise is getting in the way? This usually happens to me when I’m stressed and can't concentrate on the task at hand. And this is when I use my headphones (I just gave beats an awesome advertisement, you're welcome). Music goes a long way, and we all know it can calm anyone down. My calm down artists are Sara Bareilles, Norah Jones, or Otis Redding (Otis of course being the best singer of all time). But if you want pump up music to get you back to work, try some Summer 90's Hits on Pandora (trust me and all my co-workers on this one. It's played frequently). Interested in something happening in the news or need to see that video that everyone has been talking about? Stop working for a second (or a few minutes). Read to stimulate your mind or watch to laugh a little. A little break never hurt anyone! In fact it’ll cause you to focus even more later on. Say to yourself, okay I took that break, now let’s get back to it. A break that lasts more than 10 – 15 minutes won’t make you go back to work. Just take a breath, stop for a second or a few, and once that stressful mind has stopped talking, you'll be able to start again.
4. Remind Yourself of Your PassionGetting to the core of my being, I’m a writer. And that’s what I love to do, so why wouldn’t I remind myself of my awesome passion and skill (you can comment with a 5 star review later). Whether you’re in the job you've always dreamed of or are on your way there, motivation will sometimes distress you. Tell yourself okay, this is the job I’ve always wanted so let me do this right or tell yourself okay so let me get through this so that one day I will get to that dream job. WORK towards that goal with your stress free office space. Are you not passionate about anything? Well, that’s a load of manure. Whatever you’re passionate about, whether it’s drawing, writing, designing, skiing, traveling, or anything else, put something that reminds you of it on your desk. It’ll give you a smile in the midst of all that stress and work. And a smile means a lot when you're about to break.
5. SnackHunger can distract anyone from work, to the point where it's all you’re thinking about. To the point where your work starts to slow down and your mind starts racing about how your work slowed down and you need food SO bad and how in blank's name will you get things done, and you're still super hungry, and oh no, and etc. Stop and take a snack break / coffee break to recharge. And whatever you’re doing at the moment can wait or be designed, edited, changed, or thought about while you have your snack. Note: don’t go too heavy with a snack like chocolate . This will bring your energy down and thus be pointless to the process of de-stressing.
6. Redecorate Every Once in a WhileWe’ve been in our new office for less than three months, so I don’t have to redecorate just yet. But there comes a time where you’ve been at a place for so long that you’ll need a change. Redecorate your office space with new colors, new trinkets, new pictures, new everything. It’ll seem like you’re at a new place (your stress free office space). Everyone knows that change is always good (whether you’re afraid of it or not), so when you're at the point where everything seems like Groundhog Day, decorate your area in another style. You can even redecorate your cubicle/desk whenever a holiday comes along. Being festive never hurt anyone.
7. Use a Stress BallSo I didn't believe a stress ball would or could ever calm me down. Some of my co-workers have them, so to get the best results for this obnoxiously long blog (sorry about that), I decided to try it. Almost instantly, I calmed down ... and I wasn't even stressed to begin with. It is said anything that is sensory will help your mind stop. If it's really really bad, take your stress ball out and squeeze. It doesn't have to in an angry way. Just being able to touch something is enough sometimes, which gets to my last point.
8. Try Something SensoryI once took a meditation class where she said in order for your mind to stop thinking, you have to locate something on your body. She chose her butt (for some reason). But really, try it right now. Where's your butt? Are you thinking about it? Did your mind stop for a moment about how many things you have to do today, to start over again? Try one more time. Where's your butt? If you're on the verge of a breakdown, and really do need to calm down (I'm actually being serious for once), touch something for a while and notice the feeling, locate something on your body and focus on it, play with your hair, whatever you have to do. It's okay that you're stressed, it happens. But it's also okay and possible to get out of that stress. This should be the step you use if everything else on my list happens to not be working. Once your mind is slowing down, then you can look at your trinkets, think about your passions, reorganize your crazy color coordinated pens and markers, eat, etc! I really do hope this helped. We all go through stressful times but we all should know that this one thing you've been think about that has to be done might have a deadline, but it's not the end of the world if time runs out. And it's okay to take a break. And it's okay to let your mind wander. It's okay to maintain a stress free office space.
And if none of this works, try some retail therapy, and shop at JAM!
Sorry, I had to...