Strategies for Reducing Holiday Stress at Work

December 7, 2017
Dr. Derek Strachan and Courtney Gallagher

It’s the time of year where it’s easy to be distracted by sparkling holiday lights and stressed by extra tasks. Here are a few strategies for reducing holiday stress at work, to keep you focused and cultivate an air of productivity and calm in the office.

One of the best ways to optimize your brain performance is to stay active. Rather than settling into a stiff rut to focus, open yourself up to get moving in small ways at or near your workspace.

The key factor here is movement. Because we can literally get addicted to indulging our sedentary nature, Katy Bowman, author of Don’t Just Sit There, encourages people to be mindful of not staying static in one position all day. Consider the angle of your neck as you read and type. Is it locked? Turn your head and neck and roll your shoulders throughout the day to prevent lockdown. If you have a standing desk, utilize a mat with different heights to shift weight and sit from time to time. If you are seated most of your workday, take breaks at least every hour to stretch, stand, walk, and get micro-movements and mini workouts in.  

Do Short Bursts of Activity Throughout the Day

Entrepreneur magazine highlights a great case for multiple short stints of movement throughout the day to benefit your health, which could add up to be even more effective than an hour at the gym. It all depends on what you do. Long lazy walks on an elliptical, as beneficial as they can be, won’t do as much for your body and mind as short bursts of all-out weight-bearing exercise. This means that if you can carve out 1-2 minutes every 45 minutes in your workday to a few sets of stairs or push-ups, not only will you get a 20-minute workout throughout your 8-hour day, staving off the holiday weight gain, you also get all the mind-clearing benefits of exercise.

What does this have to do with decreasing stress and increasing productivity at work? Everything. Movement keeps your mind sharp. Working out helps improve mood as well as focus.

Set a Timer to Remember to Move

To help facilitate this process, try setting a timer for every 45 minutes. If you can get up and do weight-bearing exercises you will be doing yourself a huge favor. For example you’ll be staving off osteoporosis by building bone density and saving precious time later in the day when you may have gone to the gym. The New York Times writes about some great really short workout options. At a minimum, you will benefit from an hourly pause to stretch, grab tea, drink water, walk around a bit or even do a short mindfulness meditation. All of this helps you get back to being productive and handling end-of-year tasks.  

Make Exercise a Team Effort

If you want to propel your success even higher, get your co-workers on board. Stop as a group to do 2 minutes of movement. You can teach each other your favorite moves, set it to music, and make it a Mini Disco Dance Party, whatever makes it fun, boosts your endorphins, and creates camaraderie and team spirit! Then later, you can bond over a probiotic-rich holiday snack tray and toast your success with kombucha. If you work solo, connect with other entrepreneurs via networking groups like Townsquared to get a Holiday Stress Buster Team started. Accountability goes a long way to boost results and business.

By implementing these three strategies of doing super short workouts and mindfulness breaks at work, setting a timer to remind you to move every 45 minutes, and having fun getting your team moving, you’ll be sure to wrap up the year with gusto.  Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season from our office to yours!

About Divine Spine Chiropractic Studio

Divine Spine has been serving Seattle’s Ballard community for over 14 years. The practice works with expecting mothers and infants to people well into their retirement years. Says founder Dr. Derek Strachan, “Each and every person has the right to achieve optimum health in a safe and effective way.”

Courtney Gallagher, CA, manages the flow of this special healing community, making sure people feel clear and cared for (while playing good music!). “I love promoting a holistic wellness lifestyle in our studio space, on our blog, in our monthly Wellness Newsletter, and at local events,” says Courtney.


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