Some Tips for Staying Focused During the Work Day

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Many of us, regardless of our political views, are distracted by the changes and activities occurring across the country. When this much change is occurring around us, it can affect our abilities to think, plan, and stay focused, keep our moods stable and our relationships empathic.

We have been asking MIT employees what they do when they feel stressed at work. Here are some of their ideas. We would love to hear from you. What do you do to “destress” at work, to get focused, to manage your mood and relationships?

  1. Take a walk. This can be brief – indoors or, even better, outside.
  2. Take some deep breaths – long inhale, and extra-long exhale. Make sure you let your shoulders relax as you breathe out.
  3. Don’t look at the news during the work day, and turn off your phone alerts.
  4. Keep quotes or poems on your desk that make you feel good.
  5. Laugh. Find a joke, or a person to laugh with.
  6. Massage your temples and the back of your neck. Remember that your head won’t fall off if you relax some of those muscles!
  7. Remind yourself that you can only control what you can control.
  8. Connect with compassion. Make eye contact with, and smile at, everyone you pass.
  9. Do a Random Act of Kindness (RAK).
  10. “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.” (Dalai Lama)
  11. Create “worry-free time zones” throughout your work day. Worry is usually unproductive, repetitive, and anxiety provoking, rather than problem solving.
  12. Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?
  13. Community is not about consensus. It is about tolerance and acceptance of each other’s views. Be curious and listen more.
  14. Take a relaxing mindful minute. Call: 617-253-CALM, MIT’s Relaxation Line. Or, go to Meditation podcasts at MyLife Services and take a few minutes to be present and mindful.

Need more help? Call MIT MyLife Services – 844-405-LIFE (5433) for expert and immediate confidential and free strategies and personal consultation with Masters or Ph.D. level professionals.

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