How Do You Relax as a Businessperson?
Let’s say that you recognize the signs that you need to relax more. If not, just click the aforementioned link for some suggestions. So, how do most people relax? More specifically, how can businesspeople relax right now? Learning what others do can help you to practice relaxing more during the business day. While preparing a menu of relaxation suggestions for you, I became stressed by the overwhelming number of relaxation choices. How’s that for irony? While we won’t be able to go into a lot of depth here, I can share some ideas to get you relaxing today and tomorrow. Let’s say a negative situation has just emerged or a disgruntled employee has just left your office. How can you relax right now? Try these immediate relaxation techniques:
- Take a number of deep slow breaths.
- Laugh at something or at least stop and smile at something.
- Close your eyes and calm yourself.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Walk around to change your environment – preferably outside.
- Call a friend.
- Stretch at work (in an appropriate way).
- State a positive thought or a positive affirmation to yourself.
On the lighter side of work breaks, imagine how our parents and grandparents took a break at work. Their questionable old-school work-break habits mostly involved one substance or another: cigarette breaks, for one. Or alcohol – can you imagine keeping a fifth of hard liquor in your desk and pouring a drink for yourself while taking a break at work? Visualize the horrified looks on the faces your coworkers, subordinates, and superiors, not to mention your possible escort from the building. Snack breaks can help, but not from a vending machine – while still common in manufacturing environments, trying to eat well from a vending machine is like trying to make money by playing the lottery. There’s also the coffee break. We take the taste of our coffee more seriously and pay proportionately more for it than our parents. And the cloud of cigarette smoke has dissipated above the heads of a group of coffee drinkers. Sometimes we get so busy that we have to plan for rest and relaxation or it doesn’t happen. Given that regular relaxation promotes long term good health, we should plan for relaxation more systematically in the future. What are some things that you can do to include relaxation, rejuvenation, and rest in your days and months ahead?
- Plan for breaks at 90-minute intervals, or in whatever time increment that you need to refresh to become more effective.
- Take lunch breaks. Try to avoid eating lunch in your workspace every day. Some planning may be needed here to have lunch with others.
- Plan for a restful vacation. Get those vacation times on the calendar, even if you are not traveling.
- Make sure you get sufficient sleep (and preparation for sleep) for your mind and body.
- Making plans with friends during the week or on the weekend is a fun way to rejuvenate.
- Get a massage – if you haven’t already, try it, use it, and love it!
- Eat healthier. Whatever eating healthier means for you, a quality diet should energize your body.
- Hobbies – remember those? Make sure you plan for hobbies that relax you.
- Cultivate your sense of humor – laughing is an underrated way to relieve stress and have some fun in your workdays ahead.
Our bodies and minds need to relax to perform optimally. We are not designed to perform constantly without rest. As businesspeople, sometimes we push ourselves harder than we push the people around us. Recognize the signs that you need to relax and give yourself a break. Consider some of the suggestions above for relaxing immediately. For me, it’s fun to think about how our parents and grandparents took breaks at work. I wonder what our children and grandchildren will say about us and our work-break habits. My guess is that they will laugh at us eating at our desks, ignoring work breaks, and skipping vacations. How will you relax better today and during the months ahead? Copyright © John J. McAdam 2015. All Rights Reserved.