When you are behind a desk all day working on a project you're passionate about, it can be challenging to take time out to take care of yourself.

When you’ve got a deadline to meet, its common for exercise, healthy eating, and even taking a mental breather to fall near the bottom (or even off) your to-do list.

But, a little extra effort goes a long way in productivity, focus, mental stamina, and of course, physical buff-ness!

Here are 3 tips for taking better care of yourself while working a desk job, and even a few ways management can help too!

3 Tips for Taking Care of Yourself While Your on a Deadline

When you are in the office behind a desk all day working on a project you are passionate about, it can be challenging to also remember to take good care of yourself. When you’ve got a deadline to meet, its common for exercise, healthy eating, and even taking a mental breather to fall near the bottom (or even off) your list of to-do’s.

But what many people don’t realize is that a little extra effort in taking good care of yourself goes a long way in productivity, focus, mental stamina, and of course, physical buff-ness!

Here is number 1 of my top 3 tips for taking good care of yourself while working a desk job, and even a few ways that management can help out too!

Tip 1: Breathe More to Think More

When you are stressed out, your breathing pattern is quick, shallow, and arrhythmic. When you are in a relaxed state, you take deep, long breaths from your diaphragm, all the way down into the lower part of your belly.

If you want to be able to think clearly and you want your body to be able to function well as a system, you can’t operate in a state of chronic stress. In fact, your body won’t let you. After a while, it will give out and force you to take a break!

The good news is, by being aware of when you begin to feel stressed, you can bring yourself from a state of anxiety to a state of relaxation by deliberately changing your breathing pattern. All it takes is five deep breaths to reset your entire nervous system.

Employee tip: Several times throughout the day, stop what you are working on and take five slow, deep breaths from your lower abdomen, filling your lungs about two-thirds full. Hold it for a few seconds and then exhale, again from your lower belly.

By holding your breath for a few seconds after each breath, you cause your blood vessels to dilate signaling a drop in blood pressure, which causes your body to relax if you are feeling any stress.

The reason why you only fill your lungs two-thirds full is because this will keep the blood pressure from going up by forcing the lungs to fully expand.

Also, by exhaling more than you are inhaling, you cause the lungs to move stale air completely out. This type of slow deep breathing also causes the body to release endorphins, which contributes to the feeling of relaxation.

Management tip: It sounds silly, but tell employees to take “breather breaks” throughout the day, encouraging them to step away from their desks, do some light stretching and deep breathing. Other options include encouraging daily 15-minute walks outside in the fresh air, in-house yoga classes before/after work, or paid memberships at a nearby yoga studio.

Stay tuned for tips 2 and 3!

If you are using a screen reader, this is a spam check, please skip to the next field