We all spend long days in the office.  After staring at a computer screen four hours at a time, worrying about that upcoming deposition or hearing, we all need some quick and easy stress relievers.  Next time you start to tense up, have one of the following handy in your office:

1)         Peppermint Tea.  Don’t reach for coffee.  The caffeine will only heighten your stress.  Instead, keep a box of peppermint tea.  The taste and aroma will sooth and relax you.

2)         Chinese Balls.  These are two metal balls that have chimes inside.  Just do a Google search for “Chinese balls.”  Roll them over each other in your hand.  The motion and the sound of the chimes will change your mind frame.

3)         Hand Grip Exerciser.  You can pick these up at your local sports supply store.  Squeezing them not only strengthens your grip but it relieves muscle tension.

4)         Flavored Oatmeal.  To curb your hunger without the sugar highs and lows of candy bars, keep some packets of cinnamon oatmeal handy.  Just add hot water from the coffee dispenser.

5)         Family photos.  You ever wonder why folks have pictures of their families at their office?  I mean the photos face you; they don’t face those who walk into your office.  They are there to remind you of what’s important and help you keep your perspective.

6)         A Journal.  Keep a small journal, and when I say small, I mean fit-in-your pocket small.  Things will come up during the day that you will need to deal with but won’t be able to address at work, only adding to your stress.  Write them down and deal with them later.  Also, use the journal to jot down ideas or plans to help implement your life goals.  Achieving goals, determining your own destiny - is a great stress buster.

7)         A Massage Doohickey.   Go online and look for some massage stick, or ball or doohickey that you can use on yourself.  Rub your neck, your shoulders, possibly your scalp for a minute or two twice a day.

8)         A radio.  Find the local classical station.  Doesn’t matter if you don’t listen to classical music.  Just try it.  All those instruments can help calm you down.

9)         A mat.  If you’re feeling adventuresome, get a foam mat.  Keep it rolled up and behind your desk, but every now and then, close the door, lie down on it and stretch. 

10)       A joke book.  As they say, laughter is the best medicine.  Keep a joke or humor book handy.  Maybe a collection of comic strips,Dilbert, Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes.  When you feel the tension coming on, read a page or two.  The laughter will relax you.             


These simple tips can go a long way in relieving the daily stressors that pervade our days.  You can’t always avoid stress, but you can learn to deal with and manage it.