Often we neglect the workplace as a space of relaxation and recuperation. We put great emphasis on finding peace at home by crafting a serene atmosphere, channeling our inner fengshui, and doing self-care exercises like yoga and aromatherapy. Recharging in the workplace can become a practice just as valuable to awakening our true selves in an environment that requires our authenticity.
Let’s think about engaging some of the senses in the office. How can we reposition sound, touch, taste, and sight to kickstart inner peace?
In the midst of loud office bustle–paper shredding, rapid typing, and that co-worker who chews just a bit too loudly–it can be difficult to focus on the tasks that are typically effortless. If recharging in the workplace still feels like a foreign concept, try to introduce other sounds into the workplace as a first step.
Browse through popular podcasts and find one that touches your soul. It should be light-hearted, centered, and easily digestible. Once you find a podcast you like, it might might inspire you as you confront mind-boggling deliverables or ponder a new business strategy.
Other Forms of Sound
If podcasts aren’t for you, look to other forms of sound. A series of scientific studies correlate background music with improved performance when tackling repetitive work. More specifically, results shows that non-lyrical music may be more conducive to productive returns. Speech in music might cause the brain to struggle between the bomb lyrics and a task at hand.
Note: this all depends on the type of career. The lyrical effect offers contradictory evidence for some, like software developers and programmers. Your soundtrack of choice is a matter of preference. For some this might be rap; for others, sounds of the ocean grazing the shore.
It’s happened to us all before. Over the course of a few hours, our spine becomes slumped, our neck is cramping, and our foot has gone numb. Stationary work, though practical, is counter-evolutionary. The human body was intended to move and travel. Listen to the body’s need to move.
Let your feet feel the ground, this might be a quick walk to a favorite colleague’s desk during a break or an outdoor stroll to feel the breeze in your hair.
Other means of touch: find a game to play during lulls in productivity. Turn to crossword puzzles or a thrilling maze game, like Perplexus, to remedy intense brain freeze. If you’re artistically inclined, print an adult coloring page.
Lastly, release muscular tension with a massage. The body’s nerve endings connect to the brain. The scalp is particularly sensitive. During a scalp massage, signals are sent to the brain and the brain perceives them as pleasure.
Some foods contain chemicals that make us more anxious, while others help us fight stress. Before you grab that third cup of coffee, consider other alternatives to awaken your taste buds. On some days, recharging in the workplace can start and end right here.
Herbal teas: chamomile is one herbal tea that is mildly sedative and aromatic, aiding calming recuperation. Green tea is also an anxiety reducer.
Though some try to avoid carbs, carbs actually produce serotonin which kickstarts the brain. Grains with lots of fiber, like oatmeal, are digested slowly. This keeps us full longer and extends the release of serotonin.
Lastly, magnesium found in leafy greens is known to calm nerves and promote muscle relaxation. Consider bringing a side salad for lunch.
A change of scenery might do the trick. If you’re in a new position and weary of doing full-blown office construction, consider adding a small personal touch to your desk .
- a terrarium plant
- a postcard
- or a cute tea cup
Alternatively, change your laptop screen. Look for a background that makes you smile and colors that keep you calm. (Psychologists say blue is the most serene primary color.)
Surviving the 9-5 lifestyle can be daunting. But ultimately, the more you feel at peace, the greater your returns will be. Recharging in the workplace is not for the weak. Rather, it’s for the strong who want to engage their entire being into the task at hand.
featured image by Anthropologie