10 Ways to De-Stress at Your Desk (Learned from Kids)

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Journalist
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You’ll never hear a child grumble “Mondays are just the worst.” 

Kids possess an enviable lack of preconceptions that debilitate adults by adding more stress to their workdays. In comparison, children deal with stressful situations instantaneously. If they’re tired, they fidget. If they’re tense, they scribble intensely. Overwhelmed adults stew and problem solve, analyzing the source of their discomfort.

What if, for just one minute a day, adults treated stress in the manner that children do?

Related: Can Video Games in the Office Make Employees More Productive?

Eight out of 10 Americans experience work-related stress, according the American Institute for Stress, and nearly half of the interviewees reported they needed assistance to manage it. The same report concluded that 42 percent of the participants believed their co-workers required education on stress management

Performing one of these de-stressing exercises from your desk can lessen and refocus the mind -- all through a brief moment of child-like laughter.

1. Peel an orange. Paying intricate attention to the peeling motion, notice the sensation of the rind between your fingertips while the energetic aromas brighten your senses. Attempt to peel the orange in one unbroken coil, refocusing your mind on a simple, albeit pleasurable task.

2. Eat a banana. Always keep a banana in your desk drawer -- it’s your secret weapon. Bananas contain levels of potassium that regulate blood pressure to relive stress and improve energy and recovery.

3. Play dramatic . While classical music is prescribed for relaxation, a tune with a strong drum beat and dramatic sequence can be equally relieving. Pop in your headphones and hum to the familiar theatrics of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."

4. your ears. Letting your head drop slowly, massage your lobes softly with both hands, softly kneading your pressure points.

Related: 10 Easy Ways to Minimize Stress

5. Play paper ball. Scrunch up balls of discarded paper and toss them in your trash can. Play against yourself, attempting to score five paper balls into the bin. The satisfaction you’ll gain from a moment of competition will instantly relax you.

6. Find a ridiculous screen saver. Take a moment to source a side-splitting image. Whether it be a cat in a pram or an aging soap star at Comic-Con, put it on screen. It’s juvenile, but effective. Alternatively, place a figurine or a toy on your desk for no other reason than that its ridiculousness induces your smile.

7. Draw a messy picture. Put your pen on a piece of paper and don’t lift it up for 60 seconds. Your drawing does not have to make sense -- that’s the point. An overwhelmed mind is often relieved by a mindless activity.

8. Blank out. Pick a spot on the wall and commit to staring at it for an entire minute. For most, this will be difficult. Give yourself permission to completely flake out, embracing white noise. Like drawing a nonsensical picture, a way of clearing a congested mind is to accept defeat and temporarily do absolutely nothing.

9. Wriggle. Wriggle your toes, nose and fingers to promote circulation and awaken your body.

10. Chair dance. Envisioning the blissful smile of a child singing in the back of a car, pop on a tune and swivel around in your chair. This may raise a few eyebrows, but you will look no crazier than you are when you're completely stressed out.

Related: 5 Ways to Stop Stress Before It Starts

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Amplify your business knowledge and reach your full entrepreneurial potential with Entrepreneur Insider’s exclusive benefits. For just $5 per month, get access to premium content, webinars, an ad-free experience, and more! Plus, enjoy a FREE 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur