We live with stress. It follows us everywhere. At home, at work. Probably balancing your personal life and career, you may not have time for some serious de-stressing. But you can always do those small things that go towards making your life a less stressful. And you can do these on the job.


When you can’t commit to having a standard massage, a self-massage can help you unwind easily while sitting at your desk. This can be done simply in your office to your —

Shoulders: Use your opposite hand for the opposite shoulder. Massage the sides of your neck, down your shoulder and arm and on either side of your spine using small circular movements of your fingertips.

Legs: Knead your thighs and calves. Next, pummel your thighs gently with soft fists to help relieve stiffness that can occur from sitting too long.

Hands: Using small circular movements of your fingertips once again, massage between the tendons on your hands and around each joint. Then, start at the base of each finger and stretch it gently, pulling your grip up from the base of the finger to the tip as you stretch.

Manage the small stuff:

Our days are cluttered with ‘assignments’ and ‘to-do’s’. Time management experts recommend taking care of as much of the small stuff as possible right away. For instance, stop on any quick errands you can on your way to work, then write back any quick e-mails, make any quick phone calls and get any other fast tasks out of the way immediately.

That way, you can completely forget about these things, rather than holding them somewhere in the back of your mind to accumulate and do later. The end result? You feel less cluttered, less overwhelmed and less stressed.

Catch a cat nap:

Sneaking off for a 20-minute ‘power nap’ can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on new challenges. Studies have found that 20 minutes is just the right amount of time to de-stress — sleep too much longer and you could end up feeling groggy. So grab and alarm clock and head off for some quick zzz’s.

Laughter’s good:

Having a good laugh can make stress melt away in an instant. Plus, it decreases blood pressure and heart rate, increases oxygen in the blood and creates an enzyme that helps protect your stomach from the effects of stress.

Every notice how children rarely look stressed? One reason why is because they’re always laughing.

“Children laugh approximately 80 to 100 times per day. By the time we reach adulthood, we laugh only 5-6 times per day,” says Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW, a motivational speaker and consultant.

So make an effort to have a few laughs with your co-workers as often as you can throughout your day.

Variety is the spice:

Sitting on the phone making sales calls for six hours straight, or filling out paperwork for five, is stressful, simply because of the repetitiveness of the activity. Breaking up your workday, by taking a walk outside, a ‘power nap’, stopping to grab a bite to eat or even switching to a different work-related task, will help you to feel more invigorated and less tense.