Even when we love what we do, there are some days when we just don’t want to be at the office. There are times when our head is just positively swimming with negative energy, distracted by stress and other worries, pounding away with a headache even after we’ve popped a quick aspirin…it can get tough.

With the right approaches, however, it is possible to really keep a clear head at work and get yourself back on track. Below are some ideas to get you started.

1. Drink Plenty of Water

If you’re lucky enough to work for a company that offers premium spring water in NSW, Australia as a freebie, then make sure you bring in your reusable flask and fill it up! Drinking water and staying hydrated will do wonders for getting rid of and even preventing headaches. 

What’s more, it will help you focus your energy, not to mention keep you healthy. It’s far better for you to be drinking that mineral water compared to fizzy drinks and coffees that many people drink at their desk.

2. Listen to (Gentle) Music

Headphones are brilliant nowadays, allowing you to listen to music at decent volumes without disturbing anyone around you at all. Losing yourself in some music can be the perfect way to drown out the noise of phones, office chatter, and whatever else is bothering or distracting you. 

In order for your music not to become too much of a distraction, however, it’s also best if you listen to gentle music that doesn’t have lyrics or a hard beat. Classical music is ideal for this, such as Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and many others. If you don’t like that, then focus on lyric-less “chillout” vibe music that will play happily providing a nice background but won’t distract your attention.

3. Do Breathing Exercises

If you own an Apple Watch, you might have already received a daily reminder to stop and spend 1 minute focusing on your breathing. Well, it shouldn’t take an expensive bit of equipment to tell you to do that! Every hour or so, take up to 2 minutes to stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and just spend that time focusing on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth very deeply and slowly. It’s fantastic what the rush of oxygen to your mind can do for you.

4. Take Regular Breaks

Have you ever been stuck on a single piece of work for a long time? You might find yourself just staring at the work and moving your mouse cursor, scrolling through the piece just inserting words at random. When you’re really stuck on something, it’s critical that you take a break from it and take time to rest. 

Even a break of just 5-10 minutes where you totally focus on something different like having a cup of tea and a healthy snack in the break room can do wonders. You’ll return to work and likely get that sudden breakthrough you’ve been waiting for over the past hour or more.

5. Set Your Phone Out of Sight

Our smartphones are an increasing source of distraction and headaches for us at work. When we want to remain completely focused and with a clear head, it’s really the best thing to put the phone out of sight. You might not be able to turn it fully off in case people need to reach you, but put it somewhere out of sight at the very least.

6. Make Lists and Work Methodically

Finally, when you are overwhelmed with the workload and can’t think what task to take on first, a good approach to take is to make lists of tasks and then work through them one by one. Order them starting with the most difficult, or the most important/urgent, or in any other order that works for you. Sometimes it’s that sense of order that gets the mind moving again.