The stress of holding down a 9-5 job can make it difficult to stay mindful and grounded throughout the day. Looming deadlines, exploding inboxes, excessive screen time, and pressure from needy bosses and grumbling co-workers can make having a healthier workday pretty low on your list of priorities.
But the reality is you can’t truly be a good worker or a happy worker if you’re not mindful and present throughout your day. Being a present, mindful worker makes it easier to deal with all the little stresses of a day in the office as well as the big ones. Here are some tips and tricks for staying grounded from 9-5:
1Set Yourself Up for Success
Setting an intention for your day is a great way to set yourself up for mindfulness at the office. What better place to start than a necessity that causes many workers around the world a great deal of stress? I’m talking about the dreaded morning commute.
Traffic jams, time crunches, and lost keys can make mornings hectic. But by making a few slight changes to your morning routine, you might find yourself looking forward to your commute.
Wake up a few minutes earlier so you can build in some “me time” before the rushing begins. Before you head out the door, take a few minutes to center yourself and breathe deeply. If it’s an option for you to walk, bike, or take public transportation to work, these activities provide great opportunities for reflection and grounding before the day begins.
2Take a Movement Break
Once you’re at the office and have made it through your morning commute mindfully, the real test begins. Can you stay mindful, even in a stress-filled environment? Can you stay focused through long hours of tedious or overwhelming work?
One thing that really helps is to take frequent movement breaks, whether that means taking the scenic route to the office bathroom or taking longer walks outside to stretch your legs, fight fatigue, and clear your mind.
It’s incredibly important to build movement into your day to combat the effects of prolonged sitting. Movement stimulates your mind and awakens your body, both of which can go stagnant during long periods of sitting still at a desk.
3Eat and Drink Well
Hydrating and feeding yourself well during your workday is perhaps the most important thing you can do to stay healthy, productive, and grounded. In fact, drinking five glasses of water per day and eating five fruits or vegetables each day are major factors that keep people healthy.
If you eat and drink well, you’ll be more clear-headed and productive than if you chug soda and munch on chips all day long without ever eating a real meal. Major bonus points if you eat lunch away from your desk and away from your personal technological devices.
You’ll be able to eat more mindfully if you focus solely on the act of eating and not on eating while scrolling through whichever social media site suits your fancy.
4Incorporate Screen Breaks
Most jobs today involve at least some level of computer time, and many involve even eight to 10 hours in front of a computer. All that screen time takes its toll on your body and mind, and you can’t stay grounded if your eyes are wonky from too much sitting and staring at screens.
Preventing digital eye strain is a key element in being a happy and healthy worker. By incorporating screen breaks into your day, you’ll protect your eyes and give your brain a boost as a result. Every 20 minutes you should look at something 20 feet way for 20 seconds. This helps reset your vision and relax your eye muscles.
5Develop Meditation Moments
Developing a meditation practice can really help increase your mindfulness throughout the workday and keep you in the present moment. The benefits of meditation include aiding in digestion, helping you sleep, helping you concentrate, and improving your overall health. This includes your health at work.
How often do you feel scattered and overwhelmed while sitting at your desk? Every hour, take a few minutes to do a short meditation to remind yourself to come back to your body and breathe. Even small amounts of focused meditation time can make a huge impact on your overall well-being.
Try these techniques the next time you show up to work and notice the ways in which you feel different. Do you feel improved concentration? Higher energy levels? More physical comfort? More mental stamina? The longer you practice these grounding mindfulness techniques, the more you will likely notice their effects.
What did we miss? What are your favorite hacks for making it through the workday without unraveling? Share your tips and tricks in the comments.