No, I don't think knitting is the answer to stress caused by a dispute over which PowerPoint layout is more pleasing to the eye, or which colleague forgot to put the lid back on the coffee pot.
But similar to the wooly handcraft, it is essential to find a way out of that tangled mess and get back to being productive; you know, to making scarves and a pair of socks.
Sounds easy enough - and usually is, if you know what you're doing.
So just as a precaution, in view of the next time your colleague accidentally-on-purpose waters your paperwork instead of your yucca palm and over-hours seem dangerously close, you'll be equipped with these instant destressing techniques.
There's nothing over being well prepared.
Except maybe chocolate.
1. Clean your workspace. A tidy workspace keeps you concentrated and your work - and mind - organized. Get rid of anything you no longer need. But make sure nobody else needs it either. There is hardly anything worse than having to explain important documents in the shredder... #notspeakingfromexperience #ihope
2. Strategize. Don't let your listlessness/disappointment/rage (well that escalated quickly) get in your way. Plan your next steps so you can stay on top of your game. Making a to do list is my personal favorite. When desperate times call for desperate measures, add the name of that colleague who has been pestering you next to each item on the list, and feel the satisfaction each time you get to cross it out. But don't hold a grudge. Never hold a grudge. The list will only get you that far.
3. Close the door. Assuming you have an office all to yourself or at least don't have to share with too many other. (Which, let's face it, probably means you are not a hipster in an oh-so-cool open-plan office in an ad agency with a Nespresso coffee maker though. Poor you. And me.)
Keep calm, enjoy the peace and quiet. If possible, don't take phone calls or meetings until you have had the time to cool off.
4. Literally cool off. Drink plenty of water. In the warmer months, enjoy an ice cream or a popsicle. If you want to avoid awkward conversations, don't go for the blue ones.
5. Move. As much as you possibly can. Don't get stuck behind your desk all day. Get up and head over to your colleague across the hall instead of phoning. Get each piece of paper from the copy room individually (not recommendable for larger print jobs though.) Make yourself a cup of coffee. Whatever allows you to lift your bum off of your seat basically. Trust me, it's like taking mini vacations.
Or, take it to the next level:
6. Deskercise. I mean unless your boss is like the coolest, most understanding dude on the planet, or he's never actually in the office, I don't recommend putting your trainers on and jogging around the block for the next 20 minutes. Especially if you've already had your lunch break. And there aren't any showers nearby. There are, however, some pretty easy exercises you can do at your desk. And if you're clever about it, they might even go unnoticed. Except if you have that one creepy colleague who can't stop staring at you. But who cares really, he's probably just madly in love with you. Cause you are fabulous! Even when you're sweating from those knee highs in the bathroom and the leg lifts under your desk!
7. Grab a bite to eat. I mean let's get real. Could it be that you are simply overreacting, and all you really need is a super-sized Club sandwich? There's a name for that, you know, it's called being hangry!
Instead of a greasy burger though, protein bars and fruits usually do the trick. Yes, yes, I know. That doesn't sound all too exciting, but it'll help get your sugar levels up and your energy going! Let's see how productive you can be now, shall we!
8. Change it up. Put aside what you're currently working on and get out a different spreadsheet. Getting stuck in the same routine day in and day out can be tiring, if not frustrating to say the least. Find something else to work on, or swap tasks with a colleague. Maybe not from a different department though. We don't want to lose our jobs. Just get your mind off of what has currently got you stuck.
9. Speak to a colleague. You'd be surprised just how useful verbal communication can be. You know, grab an office buddy and get it off your chest. Just be careful not to talk badly behind anyone's back. While at the office. That is the least you can do.
If you are a total pro at stress-relief, you might even want to consider talking to the bully himself. You know, grab the problem by its horns, and get rid of it once and for all (not literally, please!).
That would make every other item on this list pretty much superfluous. Good job you!
And last, but not least:
10. Smile. Sure, it could be the fakest smile you can muster, but it will still release endorphins. The more of that you've got in your system, the better.
And if that doesn't work, chocolate is still the answer you are looking for.
Aaaand we are back where we started. So glad we made it full circle!
Let me know what works best for you.
You might also want to check out the other parts of this series:
10 Best Ways to Destress Part: Staycation