Office stress is one of the main culprits harming productivity and health at the workplace. What’s even worse is that in today’s work culture, it is virtually inevitable. Most of this truth comes down to the current generation's highly competitive market; survival of the fittest.
Now, though workplace stress is pretty standard these days, it is essential to combat the situation. In doing so, many companies do their best to develop smart stress relief activities and ideas at work.
The most common of these would be exercises, office meditation techniques, breathing techniques, yoga in the workplace, etc. While all these work perfectly well in managing stress, there are still many more options your employees can give a try.
So, here are some of those lesser-known stress relief activities and ideas for your workforce.
15 Lesser-Known Stress Relief Activities and Ideas for the Office
1. Earlobe Massage
While corporate massage therapy is an excellent way to fight stress, it can get expensive at times. To cut costs, you can advise workers to massage themself in their break. In this regard, an earlobe massage is a great alternative.
Earlobe Massage is an excellent way to release tension in the body. Individuals can do this by gently forming small circles with the thumb and index fingers on the earlobe.
Massaging the right earlobe has positive effects on the left side of the brain and pituitary gland. Likewise, gently rubbing the left earlobe has a pleasant effect on the brain's right side and the pineal gland's simulation.
2. Maintain a Journal
Workers should always talk about the things that bothers them. But, at times, employees may not find their close friends to talk with at work. In some cases, workers may not want to talk at all about their problems. In this case, maintaining a journal is essential to communicate emotions.
Workers should write down the things bothering them in a journal and feel free. It acts as a medium to let things out and is also a healthy habit in the long run.
3. Looking at Past Memories.
In the present stressful scenario, our future always seems bleak as well. In such cases, past memories often make us feel better. Reliving the pleasant moments takes us back to the good old days and makes us forget about the stressful present.
In this stress-relief activity, workers can look at their happy photos and try to recapture the joyous days. It will help individuals alleviate stress, workplace depression and reduce anxiety.
4. A Gratitude Sandwich
This is not an actual sandwich that you can eat, but rather an exercise for the notepad. There will always be good and bad moments in life. We should be grateful for the right moments rather than being sad for the bad moments.
The statement above is precisely the idea behind this activity. In this activity, individuals should write down one thing that is going wrong in the middle of two things going right. This will help one be grateful for the great things and have a fighting attitude towards the negative ones.
5. Positive Messaging
Employees should practice positive messaging for themselves. Positive messaging is writing positive things about oneself to gain motivation through tough times. For example, “I am strong, I am happy, I am valuable," etc.
6. Decaf Breaks
Coffee breaks can be instrumental in fighting stress too. Having a coffee break with other workers helps one socialize and forget about work. A distraction, as such, is helpful from time to time to maintain sanity in the workplace. However, one must be sure to have decaf as caffeine can increase stress levels.
Related Article: 8 Awesome ideas for Brain Breaks for Adults
7. Side projects
Employers should also allow some time for workers to concentrate on a side project of their choosing. It will help workers gain better skillset and also distract from the job that is causing stress. It is because side projects chosen by employees are generally to their liking.
This interest in the projects is enough to make oneself feel good about the work itself.
PMR or Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique is a form of office exercise to release stress. It works by removing the tension in the body muscles. Workers can practice this exercise at their desks. PMR at office should emphasize on the face, hands, shoulders, etc.
To do this exercise on your face, you should pull a grim face, close your eyes tight, tighten your forehead. Hold this pressure in the face for a few seconds, and then release. Workers can do the same to their hands wherein they clench their fist, hold it for a second, and release it.
The same is the procedure that you can apply to the shoulders by using pressure and releasing it. Participants should do this to every muscle in their body.
9. Having an Activity to Look Forward to
One of the easiest ways to release stress is by doing something one loves. It can be going out for snacks, movies, shopping, meeting with friends, etc. Therefore, encourage your workers to have an activity to look forward to every day.
It will help workers get through the day, knowing that something interesting awaits them at the end. Such activities will provide a helpful distraction from things that bother them and take them to their happy place.
10. Snacking Options
Eating a particular food is also a great stress relief idea to practice in the workplace. Here are a few of those food options.
- Dark Chocolate contains carbohydrates that opens up the mood-improving serotonin and reduces the stress hormones.
- Crunchy veggies and snacks give us a satisfying crispiness feeling, which can help curb the stress levels
- Avocado and Banana have a rich potassium supply, which helps keep blood pressure low that aids in stress relief.
Related Article: 25 Healthy Snacks For Work To Lose Weight & Stay Healthy
11. Playing Classical Music at the Breakroom
Music has a strong effect on one's emotions. It can calm down a pacing mind and bring the stress around to a halt. In this regard, playing classical music in the breakroom can be a big help in fighting stress
Also, songs with uplifting lyrics are a great alternative as well.
12. Crying in tough times
In some situations, stress can turn up to be more than an employee can handle. The tension of work, personal life, and the future pushing down the shoulders can be immense. Here, it is important not to bottle up oneself but to let the emotions go.
Crying helps release chemicals in the forms of tears that can help overcome stress and tension. So, if workers do feel the urge to cry, then they must find a private place to let themselves go.
13. Seeking help
Stress in the workplace is mostly the result of a massive workload. Employees often don't say "no" and then end up with a messy workload management structure. In this case, workers should seek help, if possible, from other team members in this regard.
It can be collaboration in the workplace on projects and sharing responsibilities to reduce stress.
14. Celebrating Hug your Coworker Day
A physical human touch can also reduce stress. Positive physical contact releases oxytocin and can lower cortisol levels, which can reduce stress. It can also lowers heart rate and blood pressure. All this adds to reducing stress.
So, in this regard, giving a bear hug to your close friends in the workplace can help with stress levels.
It is essential to talk things out in a stressful situations. Bottling up emotions is an unhealthy practice that everyone should drop. In this regard, employers should accommodate employee counseling in the workplace to help workers open up.
These were our pick of a few lesser-known stress relief activities and ideas for your workplace. A few other honorary mentions here are the use of essential oils, guided imagery, etc.
There are a ton of stress relief activities that your workers may choose from the box. It is essential to note that workers must do what they like, and you must allow the time to do so. It is because, in today's age, where mental health is so important, you must go all in to nurture employee health.