handling stress http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12763/all en-US From Clutter to Clean: Make Your Desk Awesome http://www.wisebread.com/from-clutter-to-clean-make-your-desk-awesome <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/from-clutter-to-clean-make-your-desk-awesome" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/feet_up_on_desk.jpg" alt="Man with his feet up on his desk" title="Man with his feet up on his desk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Clutter will swallow you alive if you don't control it. Stop tuning it out and start dealing with. Trust me, you don't need that to-do list from October. If you did, you would have done all that stuff by now. Whether it's the job, the boss, an upcoming project, or facing down your afternoon commute, you might find yourself feeling seriously stressed out during the workday.</p> <p>The good news is it's possible to reduce your stress right at your desk &mdash; just follow these easy de-stress tips to find your workstation Zen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/creating-productive-workspaces">Creating Productive Workspaces</a>)</p> <h2>Organize a Clean Workspace</h2> <p>You can't take your boss out with the recycling, but you can remove the clutter in your workspace to create a more relaxing environment. Is your desk so cluttered that it makes you want to cry? Take some time out to organize, shred, and file everything.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u14/cleandesk.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjhagen/"><em>Mingo Hagen</em></a></p> <p>Take advantage of vertical space to post reminders, but automate everything that can be automated by using your email or phone-based calendar to keep track of tasks, appointments, and meetings. Is your computer desktop a mess? Spend an hour or so creating new folders and filing things where they belong. Don't just do it on the fly &mdash; try to find a real folder structure that makes sense to you.</p> <h2>Adjust Your Monitor Settings</h2> <p><img width="605" height="403" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u14/monitor.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/moneyblognewz/5298202720/"><em>MoneyBlogNewz</em></a></p> <p>If you work on a computer all day long, make sure that your screen resolution and refresh rate are optimal for you. If you find yourself squinting at your monitor, maybe you need to set the font size a little larger. If you have the ability to customize the look and feel of your operating system's settings, use a desktop background that you enjoy and choose colors that you like (but that aren't too hard on the eye &mdash; so no Hunter Orange).</p> <h2>Get Personal</h2> <p><img width="605" height="403" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u14/photo.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/jram23/">J'ram DJ</a></em></p> <p>Everyone has a different purpose in life, a different cause that drives them to succeed. For you, family photos might inspire you to work, even when you feel tired and stressed out. For others, it might be helpful to look upon beautiful landscapes, flowers, or even posters of famous athletes or musicians. Take images of whatever it is that inspires and relaxes you and <a href="http://www.lifescript.com/life/money/work/cubicle_decor_ideas.aspx">place those images in plain view</a>. As long as it doesn't fly in the face of workplace rules, <a href="http://officecubicless.com/2011/05/20/decorate-cubicle/">make your workspace your own</a>.</p> <h2>Take a Sound Break</h2> <p>What kind of music relaxes or energizes you? Jazz, heavy metal, classical, alternative? Pinpoint the tunes that you find relaxing or invigorating and make a point of listening to them for a few moments every couple of hours. If you don't have your own office space, headphones can transport you away from it all for just a few musical minutes. Listen to your favorite song on your break, if you have to &mdash; just get those notes tumbling around inside your brain.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u14/hp.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikonvscanon/715473620/">David Blaikie</a></em></p> <p>You may find that a little background noise can help you relax while working. You can purchase meditation CDs and play them quietly (or listen to them on headphones). Saving your pennies? Simply do a web search for &quot;relaxing sounds&quot; and listen to the free MP3s that are available online.</p> <h2>Get Green</h2> <p>Indoor plants can and give your workspace a sense of serenity &mdash; assuming you don't kill them all. Houseplants are cheap, adore fluorescent lighting, and will help you breathe easier at your workstation. Choose plants that are pleasing to your eye &mdash; whether you like cacti, bonsai, or bamboo, be sure to find potted office mates that you enjoy looking at and that you can easily take care of.</p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonnyc/3235981059/"><img width="605" height="403" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u14/foliage.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/carbonnyc/">David Goehring</a></em></p> <p>If you aren't a fan of plants or simply have a notorious black thumb, then skip this idea altogether &mdash; after all, plants can get dusty and clutter up a space as much as anything else.</p> <h2>Just Get Out</h2> <p>Not everyone works in an office, of course. Working retail often means little personal space to hang photos or keep cactii. If your &quot;office&quot; is more of a warehouse floor, and you need an escape, try to make a point to leave the premises when you can. Even a walk around a warehouse district on your lunch break is healthier, and a better stress relief, than sitting and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">staring at the TV</a> in the lunchroom.</p> <p><img width="605" height="403" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u14/warehouse.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/toolstop/"><em>Mark Hunter</em></a></p> <p>Then again, if the TV really helps you zone out, then that can be your escape as well (especially during lousy weather!).</p> <h2>Stretch and Breathe</h2> <p><a href="http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/stretching-exercises-at-your-desk-12-simple-tips">Stretching while you work</a> is easy and counteracts the damage that you do your body through repetitive daily movement (or lack of movement). Try some simple <a href="http://www.thestretchinghandbook.com/archives/desk-stretches.php">stretching exercises while seated</a> or stand behind a chair and <a href="http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/231">stretch your muscles</a> using fluid movements.</p> <p><img width="605" height="403" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u14/seagull.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidspinks/"><em>David Spinks</em></a></p> <p><a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation">Meditation</a> has received plenty of press for its <a href="http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/meditation-heals-body-and-mind">health benefits</a>, like improving immune system function and lowering blood pressure. Well, you can take <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/meditation/HQ01070">meditation into the cubicle farm</a> and help make your day less stressful. <a href="http://www.guidetomeditation.org/meditate-at-work">Meditation in the office</a> doesn't have to involve loud chanting or piles of cushions and burning incense. You can meditate at your desk without making a sound. Like stretching, deep breathing and mind focusing exercises can help you concentrate on the tasks at hand, no matter how boring.</p> <p><em>Does your workplace make it hard to relax and concentrate? Do you have any tricks for finding a sense of peace and quiet amidst work chaos? Please tell us in the comments! </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-clutter-to-clean-make-your-desk-awesome" class="sharethis-link" title="From Clutter to Clean: Make Your Desk Awesome" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Organization Productivity clean desk handling stress office clutter Fri, 23 Dec 2011 10:48:14 +0000 Andrea Karim 825735 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways to Beat Holiday Shopping Stress http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-beat-holiday-shopping-stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-to-beat-holiday-shopping-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/consumers.jpg" alt="Holiday Shopping" title="Holiday Shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="170" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I can always tell when the holiday season is approaching; not only does a chill appear in the air, but automobile drivers appear much more anxious than normal, shouting remarks such as, &quot;Move it buddy! Get out of my way!&quot; followed by a series of shrill honks. The stress of the oncoming holidays has many people on edge, ready to yell and snarl at the first person who annoys them.&nbsp;</p> <p>I know I feel much more uptight around this time of year, and I don't think it has much to do with the chillier temperatures or dry skin. The pressure of travel, families, and shopping seems to take its toll on just about everyone, including myself. Over the past few years, I've realized that I don't have to become the harried shopper who tramples others in pursuit of a bargain. Instead, I've found alternatives to avoiding crowded malls and traffic-jammed parking lots.</p> <h3>The Joys of Online Shopping</h3> <p>I've found that some of the most appreciated gifts are ones that can be shared among the family, such as gift baskets or Omaha Steaks packages. Since many of these items are available exclusively online, I avoid the hassles of driving to a shopping center, hunting for a parking spot, and waiting half an hour in line to check out. Many online vendors also offer promotional discounts, coupon codes, or free shipping.</p> <p>The only catch with shopping online is making sure to place an order with sufficient delivery time. Many vendors can accommodate orders up to a few business days before Christmas. But to avoid headaches and potentially late deliveries, give yourself 7-10 business days before the holiday arrives.</p> <h3>Shopping Mid-Week</h3> <p>Every so often I just can't find all of the gifts on my shopping list online. Or worse yet, I run out of time and find myself unable to place an online order for a timely arrival. That means having to brave the malls and shopping centers. In the past, I've found that shopping midweek in the early afternoon means fewer shoppers and less wait time at the counter. I can easily breeze in and out of the stores and parking lots without having to jostle for a parking spot or rub shoulders with fellow shoppers. Thankfully, my schedule allows me the flexibility of shopping during the off-peak hours.</p> <h3>Crafting Handmade Gifts</h3> <p>Some of the most memorable gifts I've received have been personalized, handmade presents including memory quilts, homemade edibles, and inscribed memorabilia. Last year I&nbsp;made it a point to hand-make a few gifts for colleagues instead of purchasing run-of-the-mill gifts that wouldn't be appreciated. I'm not very crafty when it comes to a sewing machine or hot glue gun, but I&nbsp;am able to whip up a few favorite <a href="http://www.littlehouseinthevalley.com/homemade-gift-jars">drink recipes using mason jars</a>. Mason jars are one of the most versatile and inexpensive staples for a slew of craft ideas including bath salts, candle holders, cookie mixes, potpourri containers, and vases.&nbsp;Creating hand-made gifts does take some planning and time, although last year I was able to whip up my drink recipes in a day.</p> <p>Whatever your gift-giving ideas and holiday plans, less stress during the holidays is always appreciated.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-beat-holiday-shopping-stress" class="sharethis-link" title="3 Ways to Beat Holiday Shopping Stress" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/life-hacks/general-tips">General Tips articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Health and Beauty Shopping handling stress holiday shopping winter blues Thu, 02 Dec 2010 13:00:09 +0000 Little House 340892 at http://www.wisebread.com