5 Tips for Staying Calm and Collected at Work

Holistic nutrition and lifestyle counselor Dorit Jaffe shares her tips for managing stress.

Dorit Jaffe #WomenWhoWork “Tranquility comes from realizing you have no control over anything except yourself and and how you react to things,” says holistic nutrition and lifestyle counselor Dorit Jaffe, who shares plant-based recipes and personal care advice on her blog, Whole Healthy Glow. “Stressing over a situation is actually going to be more harmful to your health than anything.” She works with clients to develop habits and skills for staying grounded, clear-headed and calm in the face of stressors. As a result, they sleep better and more deeply, and they’re more relaxed throughout the day. She says the benefits of tranquility are particularly noticeable in the workplace. “You have clearer thoughts,” says Dorit. “You're more diplomatic; you're not on the offensive when you talk to people, and you can work more efficiently with all personality types.” Dorit is currently planning her first in a series of luxury retreats, which will be held in Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. “It’s a little off the beaten path, and the nature is stunning,” she says. Guests will go on hikes, do yoga by the lake, eat refreshing organic food, have spa treatments and meditate every morning." Sounds dreamy, right? Dorit shared a few secrets for finding just-back-from-a-retreat tranquility, even if you’re sitting at your desk instead of lounging by the lake.

1. Tackle stress first thing in the morning

On our retreats, we do yoga and meditation in the morning to awaken our minds, bodies and souls, and to get prepared for the day. That said, it could be anything that relaxes you that relieves stress—walking, running, boxing or other forms of exercise are especially helpful. Ultimately, it just has to be something that you really enjoy doing. Think of this daily ritual as a treat you’re giving yourself. Dorit Jaffe #WiseWords

2. Embrace meditation

Meditation will help you react to stress in a better way. It gives you the clarity to assess the stressors in your life, welcome them and learn how to cope with them. You can be a problem-solver and think about the situation clearly instead of freaking out about it. It really changes the way your mind reacts to things, which I think is really beneficial for a lot of people. Meditation often feels unapproachable, so I tell my clients to start with three minutes and see how it goes. Try guided meditation (search “guided meditation” on YouTube) in the beginning to guide your mind and keep outside thoughts quiet. There’s a great new meditation center in New York, MNDFL, which is very approachable and not too hippie-ish. It can be helpful to be in a space that’s meant for relaxation, away from your day-to-day, surrounded by people who are there to de-stress.

3. Step away for lunch

A lot of my clients have busy schedules, and they often eat at or near their desks. Take 20 minutes—get up from your desk, don’t look at your phone and just relax. When you’re consciously eating and chewing, you’ll digest your food better and give your brain the break it needs. You’ll come back to your desk with a clearer, more focused mind.

4. Use breathing exercises

When you become overwhelmed with a long to-do list, pressure from colleagues or pressure from yourself, recognize it and take a moment to do simple breathing exercises. Spend one or two minutes breathing deeply without looking at your computer, and then go back to your work. Often, when we’re sitting at our desks, we tense up without even realizing it. It’s important to recenter ourselves and relax our bodies so we can handle our workloads efficiently.

5. Treat yourself

Get a massage to loosen and care for your body, or a facial. Having a treat or fun activity—like a weekly dinner with friends—scheduled gives you a goal to move towards, too. Give back to your body and soul, and reward yourself for all that you’re doing in life.

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