How to Practice the Art of Workplace Decompression

motorized-pedicure-chair

There is a raging debate about work-life balance and time management.

Part of the challenge is defining terms. What is meant by work and life? The lines are quite blurred. In a very real sense, our work is our life. If we can manage a clear delineation between those two concepts, what do we mean by balance?

Are we to bifurcate our time 50/50 between work and other? Does that mean spending 12 hours at work every day? No one buys that. If you subtract 8 hours a day for sleep, that gives us 8 hours (sans any kind of breaks) for work. That isn’t quite right. Also, we only tend to work 5 of the 7 possible days. Balance cannot be reduced to mere mathematics.

What we can do is recognize that for many people, the average workday is stressful. Without some form of decompression throughout the day, we can be a real mess by the time we get home. At that point, our life outside of work suffers.
Rather than solving the work/life balance equation, we just need to figure out how to make it through the day with physical and emotional equilibrium. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

Micro-spa Treatments

A micro-spa treatment is some brief little nicety you do for yourself when you don’t have time for a full day-spa treatment. It is a 15-minute massage instead of the one that lasts for 45 minutes. It is the 20 minutes you spend in a luxurious and motorized spa pedicure chair. Many people turn these treatments into a mobile business by packing mobile versions of massage tables and pedicure chairs, offering services at office parks and other public spaces.
While these types of treatments can be done in-office, it is even better if you can manage to go to a nearby spa during a 1-hour lunch break. There is some benefit to getting out of the office and taking in the ambiance of a peaceful setting with no hint of the stress that caused you to need a micro-spa treatment in the first place.

Take a Walk

Whether or not you need to decompress from a particularly stressful morning, one of the best things you can do for yourself throughout the workday is to take a walk from time to time. If you sit at a desk for a living, Consider these benefits of walking as listed by the Mayo Clinic:
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
• Strengthen your bones and muscles
• Improve your mood
• Improve your balance and coordination
They could have also mentioned the improvement in certain knee and back issues, and the reduction of RSI symptoms. There are benefits to just getting up from your desk and standing at least once an hour. Walking is even more purposeful and more beneficial.
It is also the perfect exercise for work because it will not get you as tired and sweaty as other, more strenuous workouts. The only special equipment you need is a pair of walking shoes that you can keep at your desk or in your locker. Walking is a great way to give yourself a little energy boost whenever you happen to need one.

Read

It could be anything from a technical white paper to a trashy tabloid. Reading is truly fundamental. There is no bad way to do it. You can read the print on a dead tree magazine. Or you can listen to your favorite band in the form of an audiobook. There are benefits to processing words and thoughts and mulling over ideas that stir the imagination and inspire the soul.
For some people, work is the most stressful time of the day. For others, the stress begins when the workday ends. Decompression is not just for work. So take a micro-spa treatment, a walk, and a turn of the page whenever and wherever you need it most.

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