A recent social media discussion about stress at work made me realise I’ve developed an unusual set of mechanisms to combat desktop stress, without even realising what I was doing. I thought I’d share it here too, in case anyone else finds it helpful.
Four Simple Therapies on my Desk
Among the mass of stationery, ornaments and other bits and pieces on my desk, I keep within arm’s length of my keyboard four cheery and uplifting treats to self:
- a zesty orange lip gloss, a free gift from the ACX stand at the London Book Fair in April
- a citrussy miniature Yves Rocher eau de toilette spray bought on holiday in France at Easter
- an uplifting verbena hand cream which I was given for my birthday
- that perennial stressbuster in the idiosyncratic clicky tin, always fun to open – Bach’s Rescue Pastilles, in the newish orange and elderflower flavour
Each of these will give me a lift any time I’m feeling stressed. A quick slick of lip gloss is great if I’ve been anxiously chewing my lips in concentration. Massaging in the handcream is great therapy for aching fingers from constant typing. A spritz of perfume lifts my spirits, and the deep intake of breath it prompts must be good for me too. (It’s astonishing just how often we forget to breathe properly.) All three also remind me of happy occasions, so provide a moment’s diversion from the task in hand as I remember how I came by them. The pastilles are a last resort, but always help. Whether or not you think Bach’s Flower Remedies are a cranky placebo, I don’t care – they work for me.
It’s easy to tell when I’ve had a particularly stressful session at my desk, because I’m especiallly soft and fragrant.
I Spy a Citrus Theme Here
I didn’t realise until I put them all together for the photo that each of them has a citrus element, which is great for increasing alertness too. On a whim, I googled “effect of citrus” and discovered that just smelling citrus fragrances can boost your mood to the extent of reducing the need for antidepressants.
Who knew? Not me. Well, actually, I think my subconscious must have known. And just like my mum, my subconscious always knows best. Although my mum would probably also tell me to get up from my desk and have a rest more often – which is exactly what I’m going to do when I’ve finished this post.
What are your favourite remedies for combating stress at your desk? I’d love to know!