How-To

5 Simple Ways to Minimize Stress During the Work Day

By Katie Melko, RDH, MSDH on October, 22 2018
Katie Melko, RDH, MSDH

Katie works as a public health hygienist and educator and as adjunct faculty at Lincoln College of New England. She is involved in ADHA and currently serves as Immediate Past President in Connecticut.

It seems these days that life is so hectic and constant that we tend to bring our stress with us to work and vice versa. We are so programmed to always be multitasking and on the go that we forget to take a minute to just breathe.

With our profession, it is so important to remember to destress and recompose ourselves in order to not get weighed down, tired and stressed. Minimizing stress during the workday is vital to surviving long-term in this career.

You may be sitting there reading this saying, “When am I going to have time to do that?”

But you can and will enjoy these stress-reducing exercises that only take 30 seconds to 1 minute to do!

5 Quick Stress Reducers:

1. After I get set up for the morning patient, I sit down and pull my shoulders back and take 5 deep breaths – in and out with my eyes closed to clear my head and prepare for the day. This should take about 30 seconds and you will feel refreshed and lighter.

2. After a few patients, when you need it, stretch your arms up toward the ceiling, and then bend down and touch your toes three times. Then put your hands on your hips and stretch side to side. This will help loosen those tense muscles and reduce neck and back tension/pain.

3. During your lunch break, go to YouTube online and put on relaxation music for 5-10 minutes, and just zone out to clear your head. Concentrate on your breathing and try to not think about anything else. I sometimes will shut the lights off in my room and lay in the chair for this.

4. Essential oils like lavender are a great stress reducer. I like to place a small amount on my finger and rub it on the base of my neck to help reduce tension and create calmness.

5. Lastly, and most importantly: eating small meals that are quick and easy and can be eaten in less than 2 minutes will help fuel you throughout your day and reduce agitation from hunger pangs. Take these quick breaks to also drink water. This keeps you hydrated, your mind clear and your body happy.

Try these out and remember to take care of yourself so you can continue to take care of others.

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