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Picture your grandfather or great grandfather sitting in his office Madmen-style in a grey suit. Slowly rolling out his yoga mat. And taking the crane pose.
Yeah, I figured that would be hard.
The thing is, so much has changed over the years to make the GenY workplace a truly remarkable and special place. No one was talking about work/life balance in the 1950s because blogs for corporate workers didn’t exist and no one was answering emails or tweeting at 2am!
Nowadays, it is so important to take care of your mental health by creating emotional boundaries at work. However, for those of us in stressful positions, stress is inevitable (and let’s face it, everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes).
Now, we all know that the most common and effective way to deal with stress is to workout! And here are the best workouts for the kind of stress you’re under:
Stress Symptoms: Anger-related stress can strike even the most even-keeled of office workers. If you start to feel out of control in the work place or you take on the mantra of a caged animal when faced with looming cutbacks, you need relief quickly.
Workout Diagnoses: Running! Anger is best tempered with a relief of those pent up feelings, not by hiding them. An aggressive, active workout like running (preferably speed work), or kick boxing will let you physically work out your emotional challenges without exacting your revenge on an unsuspecting husband or personal belongings. Of course, for serious problems it would be best to talk it out and reach a solution. But for those “I sense impending doom and I feel cornered,” blips, a good hard run will clear your head.
Stress Symptoms: Even if you are usually the Dalai Lama of the workplace, sometimes it really seems like the world is out to get you. Usually an iced coffee and a blog or two does the trick, but today you pick up two more projects (with two more short fuse deadlines) on top of the other three or four you were trying to manage. Suddenly you wonder if you’ll get lunch or get home, let alone your daily coffee. While no one can be expected to maintain this level of business and a break is usually up ahead, sometimes it seems completely overwhelming.
Workout Diagnoses: Yoga! The only way to get through a particularly busy period of time is to separate your mind from your worldly problems. Yes, a few episodes of Girls will leave you zoned out and a little more relaxed, but nothing takes you out of the physical and into your happy place as effectively as yoga. If you’ve never done any work on the mat before, start slow or you will get hurt. If you’re a seasoned regular, take a class somewhere special.
Stress Symptoms: Days of angsty stress are probably more reminiscent of high school than of last week, but… it happens. The “Woah is me… I spilled my Starbucks on my newly vacuumed car seat,” or perhaps even a legitimate, “Why is everyone on my back today, I have stuff to do!”. Whether a figment of your overactive imagination or you’re picking up on some strange social voodoo, you need a way to relieve these feelings.
Workout Diagnoses: Walking! For this kind of stress (and possible sadness) the best thing you can do is get some perspective. Walking and other gentle activities get you out of your head. Not only are you helping yourself to see what an effective coping machine you are, but by taking a long swim, hike, or walk you are boosting the feel-good chemicals that your body produces when it exercises. And if the very basic chemistry of your body is working for you, you will tackle that sinking, sad feeling that everyone hates you in no time. But let me tell you — if your temporary feeling of angst deepens or lasts longer than a couple days, you might have more than a funk going on! Check with your doctor and/or counselor to make sure you have the help you need!