Sometimes, you feel anxious at work. When you have five million things to check off from your to-do list, or had a stressful call with a client, or a hard conversation with a co-worker, it’s hard not to want to dissolve into a puddle of panic. Or feel the urge to drive home and swallow a pint of ice-cream under a pile of blankets. We get it, and we’ve all been there.
Luckily, there are easy, quick ways to manage these uncomfortable feelings. Feeling like you’re about to emotionally implode? Try these life-hacks out.
1. Have a cup of chamomile tea.
A mug of hot tea alone can be bliss city, but making a cup of chamomile has been *scientifically proven* to calm your nerves. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, chamomile contains compounds that can potentially reduce anxiety. Natural anxiety meds, we love you.
2. Take a walk around the block.
Studies have shown that exercise can combat stress and anxiety –but since it’s hard to fit in a workout during work hours, you can probably make do with a quick walk. Plus, taking a break from your desk and computer will probably make you feel more energized and by the time you get back, you’ll be able to be a million times more productive. All. The. Win.
3. Bring a coloring book to work and bring out that inner 2nd grader for awhile.
Even university researchers have concluded that adult coloring books are super therapeutic for those who suffer from anxiety. It’s a THING. And you know what’s great about coloring books? You can take ’em anywhere you want, including WORK. Take some time during your lunch break and get your coloring on. This cuss word coloring book is personally my go-to.
4. Make an attainable to-do list and treat yourself for everything you’ve accomplished that day.
That treat can literally just be five minutes of cat compilation YouTube videos —go ahead, you EARNED IT.
5. Watch this bizarrely hilarious Vine:
Do you not feel totally, one-hundred percent better now?
6. Stay super hydrated.
Dehydration doesn’t necessarily cause anxiety, but being dehydrated on top of being stressed or anxious is no fun. According to Calm Clinic, “Dehydration rarely causes anxiety on its own, but if you’re not drinking enough water you may be putting yourself at risk for worse anxiety symptoms.”
7. Keep lavender-scented things around your desk.
Essential oils like bergamot (found in chamomile tea!), frankincense, and ylang ylang have been linked to reduced anxiety. While it may or may not work for you, there’s no harm in keeping a lavender plant on your desk, candle, or lavender lotion (Avalon Organics has an amazing lavender lotion for under eight bucks).
8. Chat with a work friend.
Forming tight bonds with people can reduce stress and anxiety, so go ahead and get tea with your desk mate and talk about your weekend plans —it’s GOOD for you. If you’re way too swamped with work, gchat them and share only the most glorious puppy gifs.
9. Have a snack.
Sometimes the best way to feel like yourself again is by ~indulging~ in a treat. Chocolate (which is essentially the superhero of the food pyramid), or protein-packed noms like nuts or string cheese (protein can lower your blood pressure) is a solid choice, but you do YOU, gurl.
10. Bring something in from home.
Like a picture frame, some good-vibe-radiating crystals, a candle, or some of your favorite books. Bringing in something for your life away from your job might make you feel more at ease.
11. Listen to meditation music on YouTube.
It’s pretty tricky stuff to shut your brain off —especially when you’re at work and in major hustle mode. But if you’re feeling panic-y or distressed, meditation is one of the best ways to ~find your center~ (and make you feel calmer). Since it’s kinda hard to fit in a meditation sesh at work, you can always listen to a meditation YouTube video on the down-low.
12. If meditation isn’t your thing, give ASMR videos a go.
ASMR (which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response) videos usually depict a person whispering or tapping their nails against a hard surface. These gentle noises are oddly and infinitely soothing. And beloved by millions on the Internet. According to The Washington Post, “They can instill tranquillity, overcome insomnia — and induce a mysterious physical sensation known as autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, wherein the body is flooded with waves of euphoric tingles.”
13. Breathing exercise.
Sometimes, if you’re experiencing especially bad anxiety, it’s east to forget to breathe. Your chest tightens up, you feel clammy, your head hurts —all symptoms of, possibly, a panic attack. One of the quickest ways to feel better is to just breathe. Here are three breathing exercises to follow if you’re ever feeling out of sorts.
14. If you’re super overwhelmed at work, maybe it’s a good idea to talk to your manager.
It’s not totally abnormal to feel pressure at work sometimes. You have deadlines and goals to meet, you want to feel like you’re doing a good job! But if you’re feeling uneasy and you’re completely drowning in responsibilities with no end in sight, maybe think about having a quick chat with your boss. After all, they should be totally there for you if you need support. Even if the thought of stopping by their office gives you anxiety, just remember that it’s also their job to help you out.
And remember —you’ve got this thing.