5 Ways to De-stress at the Desk

Sitting at the desk all day is tough on the body and the mind. After a few hours, it is common to feel stiffness in the body and mental fatigue. Take a moment to pause and recharge to feel more energized and focused throughout the day.

1. Breathe

Feel your seat on the chair. Feel your spine straighten and lengthen. Bring your shoulders to your ears, and drop them down the back. Take 3 deep breaths. 

Breathe in for 2 seconds and exhale for four seconds. The exhale activates the parasympathetic nervous system and tells our body and mind to calm down. Bringing awareness to the breath brings us into the present moment. 

2. Alternate Nostril Breathing

This breath helps balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain and is great when you need to pause and redirect what tasks you are working on.

Benefits of Nadi Shodna (alternate nostril breathing):

  • Lowers heart rate, stress, and anxiety

  • Balances right and left hemispheres of the brain

  • Improves lung function and endurance

  • Stimulates digestion and metabolism

  • Purifies and balances the body

  • Rejuvenates the mind

3. Gentle Movement 

Seated Cat/Cow

Seated Cat/Cow

Take a few cat and cows to release tension in the back and shoulders. 

Down dog at the Desk

Down dog at the Desk

Take a moment to stand and do downward facing dog. This brings blood flow to the brain to increase energy and concentration levels.

4. Finger Tapping

  1. Touch the thumb to each finger on your hand

  2. Each time your thumb touches a finger, repeat a grounding phrase to yourself

    Ex. I am safe, I am breathing, I am here, etc.

This brings us out of the mind and into the body. This brings us into the present moment. 

5. Take 5

Give small, simple tasks for the mind to focus on. Draw attention into the present.

    1. Find 5 things you can see

    2. Find 4 things you can touch

    3. Find 3 things you can hear

    4. Find 2 things you can smell

    5. Find 1 thing you can taste