Relax at the Office? It's Easier Than You Think

If you're looking for an easy solution to the beginning, middle or end-of-the-week blahs, look no further.

We have enlisted the help of relaxation consultant Darrin Zeer to get you out of the doldrums and on your way to a stress-free existence!

The first step, according to Zeer, is to know the Five Golden Rules of the Office Spa:

  1. Breathe deeply and slowly, relaxing your body
  2. Keep things simple, moving forward one step at a time
  3. Focus on each step, calmly
  4. Do not stress out about the little things
  5. Treat yourself to an "office spa" break whenever the need arises

OK! Now we are ready to tackle the workweek. Starting with the most difficult day to get in gear — Monday — let's see what Zeer has in store for us:

Monday: Inner Order

"Your workweek will go much more smoothly if you take some time on Monday morning to write your anxieties away. Appointments, to-do lists, deadlines — get these out of your head and onto paper and you'll feel the stress fade away. Check items off throughout the week and see how much you accomplish."

Tuesday: Meeting Mist

"Let lavender set the mood! The scent of lavender alleviates stress-related symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, anxiety and fatigue:"

  1. Fill a clean spray bottle with 6 to 8 tablespoons of cool water.
  2. Add 2 to 4 drops of lavender essential oil and shake.
  3. Take a nice, deep breath.
  4. Organize your thoughts and spend a moment focusing on your agenda.
  5. Keep the bottle tightly closed and treat yourself — and your desk area — to spritzes throughout the day.

Relax at the Office? It's Easier Than You Think (<i>cont'd</i>)

Wednesday: Acupressure in the Afternoon

"Taking your shoes off when walking around the office, or when sitting at your desk can be very rejuvenating and helpful for sore feet. For extra relief for backaches and headaches, try this easy, under the desk technique:"

  1. Place a golf ball or rolling pin on the floor under your feet.
  2. While sitting, roll the sole of each foot over the ball or rolling pin.

Thursday: Car Comfort

"Why not turn your vehicle into a sanctuary? Make an altar by placing a flower or your favorite picture on the dashboard. Create scents and sounds that are personal and peaceful.

"Challenge yourself to remain calm and enjoy the moment as you drive through rush-hour traffic ... keep a small carry bag handy with a nice change of clothes and a toiletry kit in it. Relaxation is being prepared for the unexpected.

"Your car is also a great place to escape to during the day when you need peace, quiet and privacy."

Friday: Ginseng Zing

"Is your aching body keeping you pinned to your seat? For centuries ginseng has been recognized for its energizing properties. It provides a great boost when you need to bench-press your tired body out of your chair:"

  1. Prepare a hot cup of ginseng tea.
  2. Try putting in a few drops of pure ginseng extract for an extra kick.
  3. Add some honey or maple syrup.
  4. Take a deep breath and wait for the power surge.

Excerpt from the book, "Office Spa: Stress Relief for the Working Week" (Chronicle Books)