Summertime de-stress at the office


Summertime de-stress at the officeWhat comes to mind when you say summertime?  Remember the lyrics to that old song? “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer….You’ll wish that summer could always be here.”

The antithesis of stress! Summertime evokes thoughts of endless days of relaxing, sunshine and warm rains. Summer time is the outdoors, the beach, the cottage, a barbeque with friends and family, or a game of baseball. It is filled with the sounds of nature – birds singing, wind rustling the leaves, rain, thunder and lightning heard from the safety of a cozy shelter. It also means fresh produce, outdoor farmers’ markets, and time spent in the garden. Wow!

Summertime is supposed to be so great and so healthy! But what if you only get two weeks’ vacation? This is the case for many working adults these days. No beer and hazy, lazy days at your office. Many leave an air-conditioned house, drive in an air-conditioned vehicle through traffic, and then sit in an air-conditioned office only to drive home again in traffic to face all the normal chores of the second shift at home. Some add to this the extra stress of finding child care and the added expense of summer camps for the kids. Too often an element of resentment and guilt comes along with not enough time to enjoy with the family because summer goes by so fast!

Perhaps the problem is that we don’t always take the time to think and plan because we are so busy “doing.” As my 19-year-old son once said to me, “Mom, you need to make fun a priority!” This from an adolescent!

Sometimes not setting the right priorities stops us from receiving the benefit from summer and its opportunity to “ground” us and nourish us – body and spirit. So what can you do? How can you de-stress and get that summertime state of mind at the office?

I am sure, if you thought about it, you could come up with many great ideas. Talk to your colleagues and find out together how you can commit to a summertime attitude at the office. We know that social support for change makes a big difference, so perhaps consider some of the following:

How to de-stress at the office

  1. Eat your lunch outdoors, go for a walk on your break, walk or ride your bike to work. If you can, arrange to arrive early and leave early to take advantage of a long evening of sunshine.
  2. Have you thought of organizing a Yoga group that meets over lunch on a green space for stretching and breathing? You could even take your shoes off and let your feet feel the grass.
  3. Many believe that “grounding” has many benefits. Bring your ball and glove or Frisbee for some fun. If you are interested, look up Dr. Stephen Sinatra on “earthing” or grounding. Although controversial, there is evidence of benefits from being physically in touch with the ground.
  4. Have something fun planned after work and on the weekends with friends or family where you can appreciate the season. Don’t over schedule your free time. Make sure you have some room for dreaming and leisurely pleasures. Remember creativity and productivity actual improve when we are healthy and not stressed out, and summertime can make it easier.

I hope some of these ideas will inspire you to create your own summer of relaxation and happy memories.

Visit for more ideas on how to reduce stress or call 1 866 833-7690 to speak to a counsellor.