Staying Zen at Work

It’s probably not surprising for you to learn that I feel the most anxiety at work. Between meeting deadlines and being a perfectionist, there is a  lot of opportunity for my mind and heart to race. I’ve taken some actions to help me stay zen in the office. It’s not always effective, some days are just bad, but it helps – A LOT – and I’d like to share with you.

For years and years I had my anxiety under control. But when I started this new job, it really hit the roof and I had to get back with my doctor to help me manager it. I’m one of these odd people who sit between “Oh, they make a pill for that? Gimme” and “Let’s work with essential oils and meditation.” So I’ve learned to combine my two sides.

I started with meditation. I have tried quite a few apps over the years, but for me it really comes down to breathing exercises. I try to mediate for 10 minutes every day during my lunch break. Here is how it usually goes:

  1. Deep breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Really heavy and loud so someone can hear you if they are sitting next to you. I like to do those for like 30 seconds, when I’m feeling just a little light headed.
  2. Then breath slowly, however I would normally breath, whatever feels most comfortable.
  3. Here is where the trouble starts. When I meditate I really try to clear my mind. It’s a struggle and take lost of practice. I count my breaths 1-10 starting 1 on breathing in. My mind does still wander, but when I notice it, I bring it back in to the counting. (Just thinking about doing this, I feel more relaxed).
  4. Your mind will wander, don’t give yourself a hard time about it, just re-focus and start the counting where you left off.

Like I said, I try to do this for 10 minutes during my lunch break. I will try to play some calming music while I do it to drown out the sounds of the office around me. BUT they make a lot of useful apps for this as well.

Once I got the meditation going, I really wanted to make my office space more homey. After all, I spend most of my waking hours sitting at my desk. I like to fill the space with positive messages and calming scents. I’ve provided some pictures to show you what I mean.

There is something about having a live plant on my desk that just makes me feel better. I have no visibility to any windows, which makes sitting at a desk for 9 hours really tough. The plant is a nice reminder that there is life outside these walls. I keep pictures of my loved ones and inspiration notes around my desk, too. Basically, anything that makes me smile. When I’m having a tough day or a moment I just look at these to remind myself that it’s not the end of the world – and at the end of the day I will get some snuggles from my husband and my kitties. I also have an oil diffuser with light therapy on my desk. I keep it on all day. Right now I have lavender in it, for it’s calming effects. When I get a cold I put eucalyptus oil in it. Basically, you can put in anything you want. I love lavender and my colleagues like the little whiff as they walk by my space.

I hope you’ve found this helpful and/or interesting. If you have any other ideas to keep your work space zen, please share!

Here are some pictures of my kitties, just for funsies.

Kitties

With love,

Cat

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