5 Ways to Relax and Refresh Your Focus at Work

When your nine-to-five has you down and drained, the thought of relaxing may seem impossible. But just because you’re at the office, that’s no excuse not to take a time out. A few minutes of downtime will not only lower stress levels, but may ultimately lead to increased productivity in the workplace; something worth thinking about. Keep reading as we show you five ways to relax and refresh while on the job!

Deep breathing.

Repeat after me: in for five, hold for four, out for eight. No, we’re not practicing counting in wild and weird ways, but preparing ourselves for some deep breathing exercises. Inhaling through the nose, holding, and exhaling through the mouth at these intervals will help to oxygenate the body; bringing increased focus and instant relaxation. The best part? No need to move a muscle.

Desk stretches.

Requiring a bit more movement than breathing, this technique is nevertheless quick, easy, and virtually undetectable. Begin in a straight back, seated position and extend your legs as far as possible. Alternate between pointing and flexing the feet a few times, followed by rotating the ankles. Return to your beginning position and shift the body from side to side, gently stretching the obliques. Throw in a few shoulder rolls and neck stretches, and you’re sure to recharge both body and brain. Now, back to business.

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Crossword puzzles.

These wordy wonders are not only thought to keep diseases like Alzheimer’s at bay, but spending a few minutes on a task totally unrelated to work can leave your mind refreshed and ready to tackle the big stuff. Take advantage of online puzzles like The Washington Post’s daily crossword, or purchase a book and play the old-fashioned way! Not your thing? Give Sudoku or Kakuro a try, and let the brain games begin!

Walk it out.

Especially true if you work a desk job, taking a moment to change-up the scenery, while also getting your blood flowing, will do wonders for your energy and overall drive. A quick trip to the restroom, a jaunt to the water cooler, or a stroll past a window are simple choices. But don’t linger too long! The idea is to sneak in a brisk stroll, without having to leave the work area.

Listen up.

Along with the invention of earphones and ear-buds, came the ability for most workers to enjoy their favorite tunes on the job. Unfortunately, those upbeat/Today’s Hits/uber-pumping sounds might not put you in the right mood for analyzing spreadsheets. Instead, try listening to classical, instrumental, or other ultra-low key melodies to really get your Zen on. Try creating an entirely new Pandora station filled with strains that inspire, rather than tire.

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Though work pressures can leave you feeling tense and tight, there are a host of ways to relax and unwind. Try implementing one, or all of the above techniques and you’ll be well on your way to power through today!