Frankie Says Relax

Monday, June 01, 2009

Women's Health online offered up the following question on their blog today: What are your stay-calm at work secrets?

Being able to keep your wits at the office is one of the most important skills to have. No matter how ridiculous things can get, if you can maintain a calm demeanour and not let it show when you're freaking out, you're demonstrating that you're levelheaded, adaptable, and valuable in an emergency. Think about your coworkers--when poop hits the fan, who do you want to be working with? Probably not the cryer/screamer/hyperventilator of the bunch.

I have a few things I like to do when I start feeling crazy at work:

1. Get a coffee or a green tea. The coffee is probably not a good idea; I'm sure caffeine just adds to the agitation. But going to the kitchen to make a nice warm drink gets me away from my desk and gives me a little boost.

2. Browse blogs. I'll take 10 minutes to check my blog feed and read a couple posts, preferably funny ones.

3. Do dumb quizzes. Whether it's one of the countless Facebook tests (what old-school movie star are you? What's your porn name? How many kids will you have?) they're mindless fun and a great way to quickly unwind.

4. Listen to music. I plug into iTunes and pretty regularly to help focus...this might be the best trick of all.

5. Make my dentist happy. I'll go in the bathroom and floss and use mouthwash. It takes a couple of minutes and makes my mouth feel all fresh and awesome so I'm not tempted to raid the chocolate basket in the lobby.

6. GTFO. Leaving the office midday helps manage the day one thousand percent and now that the weather's getting better I've tried to eat lunch outside as much as possible--it's so much nicer to go outdoors than spending lunch running errands at the mall or waiting for a bank teller. Even 15 minutes of fresh air or a quick drive around the neighbourhood can do wonders.

What do you do to unwind at work? Any tricks for not losing it when the going gets tough?

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  1. I love eating lunch outside! And music at work is definitely a winner... I have to say, though, coffee is my savior :)

    the mouthwash/floss idea is a great one! gets you up and moving and I can see how it would keep you from eating that bad, 3 o'clock snack since you're mouth would feel all fresh and happy... I'm going to try that!

  2. Lunch outside is a fantastic break, even when you get outside and realize it's a lot chillier and breezier than it looked from inside and you spend your lunch time reading a book in your car in the parking lot :D

  3. When I'm really stressed out, and basically feel like I am about to throw a conniption (not really very professional unfortunately) I take a big deep breath then very slowly exhale through my mouth.

    It feel really good, and it gives me something else to focus on for a second. Plus, if I do it a few times in a row people around me start to think I'm crazy and realize I'm about to blow and leave me alone due to fear.

  4. Being that I teach, I'm not really able to up and leave in the middle of a stressful class. I usually give the kids a couple minutes to relax so that I can take a deep breath or grab a quick snack just to take my mind off things. If it's during rehearsal, I'll be straight up with the kids and tell them I need a couple minutes and go outside or lock myself in the bathroom - again, usually with a snack!

  5. I like to go around and lick the keyboards of everyone who is contributing to my misery.

  6. Number 6 is great and so is the picture. Cheers to that.

  7. I've tried the breathing thing but I usually forget to do it when I'm super riled up. The snacking? Definitely done that. :)

    Thanks Chelsea :D

    And thanks Jay, for the keyboard-licking tip. Probably best when you have a cold or swine flu?