3 answers

What's your preferred method for relaxing in between tasks during the work week?

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I love my fidget spinner! #anxiety #psychology #college

3 answers

Jared’s Answer

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Exercise, even if it's just little bits of exercise, is a proven stress manager. One of the most effective ways for me to relax in between work tasks is to use the Pomodoro Technique. This system was designed to improve personal productivity, however, I find that it really helps a lot as well with stress, relaxation, and anxiety. One of the important aspects of Pomodoro is that it breaks most of the work day work up into 25-minute chunks, with 5 minute breaks in between, and a slightly longer break (15 minutes) every few chunks. So as a result, the things I relax with tend to be 5 minute activities or 15 minute activities. Exercise can't always be done in 5 minutes, so I substitute standing up, stretching my neck, etc. Sometimes I do a few minutes of jumping jacks. Pretty good. I also might eat a snack, drink something, read a news article, look at Reddit, or watch a short video on YouTube, but only until the timer is up and then I'm straight to the next Pomodoro!

I can't do Pomodoro every day (it works well for some kinds of tasks more than others in my opinion), and your mileage may vary (some people love it but others don't). I find that I tend to do better when I have a "Pomodoro partner" who starts and stops on the same schedule as me. That's great. And I can't do more than about 7 pomodoros in a day without getting pretty tired. But the productivity is great!


Jared recommends the following next steps:

  • Spend 1 afternoon using the Pomodoro Technique with a pomodoro timer such as https://tomato-timer.com/ and decide if it's something you'd like to do routinely to get your school or work tasks done
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I've used tomato timer before, but didn't realize how beneficial it can be! Thank you so much!

Shelbi’s Answer

Updated

I work in a very high-stress job in the travel/tourism world and what our department has decided to do is use an empty desk and fill it with items that bring us joy and can take our mind off of work. It is an electronics free-zone and has items like:

  • Play-dough
  • Colouring books
  • Word Searches
  • Sudoku
  • Puzzles
  • etc

This helps us get our minds off of work for a few minutes a day and allows us the opportunity to de-stress before continuing to work. My personal favourite is the colouring book.

Shelbi recommends the following next steps:

  • try to bring a de-stressing item with you to work/school and when you feel yourself getting stressed, take 5 minutes (no electronics) and just play!
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Thank you very much for the insightful response, Shelbi!

G. Mark’s Answer

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I read stuff about science or entertainment. If the science is related to my work, so much the better. It gets me geared up with new ideas.

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Thank you! That is a sure way to regain inspiration for the task at hand!