You may be hearing that “Millennials are the burnout generation.” While this is pretty scary, it resonates with so many of us, and often we don’t know what to do or how to cope, especially on our own.
Today, we are grateful to hear from Edie Stark, licensed therapist and MyWellbeing member, who shares her three tips to ease work-related stress. The best part? You don’t even need to leave your desk.
It can actually be one of the biggest stressors in our lives. Work/life balance can feel really hard to find, especially when the work culture promotes #teamnosleep.
I have had my fair share of intense work environments - from understaffed treatment centers, to high case loads at hospitals; I am no stranger to burn out. I remember feeling so lost and overwhelmed on how to take actionable steps during the work day to help ease my overall stress.
I came up with my top three accessible mindfulness tips that can easily be done at work. Whether you have a corner office, a cubicle or work in retail, these interventions can be easily accessed. They are also all either free or very low cost - added bonus!
Color breathing is a simple breathing exercise that be done anywhere. To start, pick your favorite color. For the sake of this activity, I will go with mine which is teal. Picture a small teal orb sitting in your belly button. As you inhale, imagine that orb growing and illuminating your whole body. The deeper and longer the breath, the more the orb grows. As you exhale, the orb slowly begins to shrink back down. Repeat as many times as you like. I recommend at least three deep breaths.
This can be anything from ice water to a fancy matcha latte. As you take a sip, start to notice the taste, smell and feeling of the liquid in your mouth. Note any sensations you feel. Is it sweet, bitter, tasteless? Do you smell spices? Does it feel warm, cold, smooth, or wet? Take your time with each sip, taking time to breath and truly experience each taste. You can also take note of how the drink feels in your hand, is the cup a certain temperature, how does it fit in your hand etc?
This one is one of my favorites because you can really individualize it. There are a million and one essential oils. All that matters is that you find a scent you like. If you don’t have access to a true essential oil, you can use a scented lotion, perfume, coffee grounds, brewed tea, citrus or chocolate. You get the picture, find something that smells pleasant to you.
Now, take three, long, deep breaths, inhaling the sent with each breath. If you have oils or something that can be easily and safely applied to your skin, the next step is placing a small amount on your temples, your wrists, and behind your ears. If you are using something either solid or unsafe for skin application, take three more deep breaths while repeating a soothing affirmation. I personally like “I am strong, I am capable.”
I know there is no magic cure for fixing a high stress work environment, but my hope is that by trying to incorporate some simple mindfulness steps into your day to day, it can help you to not only feel less stressed, but also to feel more grounded and empowered. I hope these tips have been helpful!
Work-related stress affects almost all of us—over 90% of Americans, to be exact. We hope Edie’s three tips have given you some additional tools to use during your work day to ground, restore, and regroup.
Are there topics you would like to hear more about? We’d love to source experts to share more perspective with you. Let us know at [email protected]. We’re all ears.
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Edie Stark, MSc, MSSW, LCSW is a psychotherapist and MyWellbeing member who works extensively with the Eating Disorder population at all levels of care. She utilizes Mindfulness, CBT, EMDR and Relational Therapy in her practice, and also works with Chronic Illness, Anxiety, Mood Disorders and Relationship Issues. Edie is a Reiki Master and utilizes this holistic healing as a modality in her practice. Edie’s podcast, “Breaking Down” helps listeners get an inside look at topics ranging from addiction to body image to failure. You can learn more about Edie at www.ediestark.com.