Going to work in an office every day can be hard. You often end up working long hours, you don’t have enough personal space, and sometimes, it feels like you’re so busy that you can’t even stop to breathe. It shouldn’t be like that, and it doesn’t have to be.
Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the bathroom. Now, I know that sounds weird, but give me a moment to explain. The office bathroom is the perfect place to go when I need a moment to myself. It’s a great place to de-stress. (And yes, I will admit, I sometimes make calls in the bathroom.) In many ways, the office bathroom has become my sanctuary. It’s completely changed my relationship with work for the better.
I often find that after a trip to the office bathroom, I’m more energized and centered, which has increased my productivity. Before, I used to think that being busy was the same as being productive, but it’s not. Being busy is tiring. Taking time for myself, even if it’s just to go and wash my hands so I have a moment to breathe, has made the time that I am at my desk more productive. Taking deep breaths has been known to help your blood flow and boost your mood, and it’s definitely worked for me.
Sitting all day is bad for you. Even walking to the bathroom is better than staying in one spot for hours on end. Studies show that by just walking around the office for five minutes out of every hour, you’ll end up being in a better mood, you’ll be more focused, and it’ll actually help curb your appetite (a great benefit for me, because I used to do a lot of unneeded snacking). By getting your blood moving, taking a walk to the bathroom also makes sure you don’t end up with blood clots or sedentary-related health problems.
Staring at a screen all day is hard on your eyes, and it’s good to give them a break. Going to the bathroom makes me look away from my screen and focus on other things. I used to get a lot of headaches from too much screen time, but I’ve found that taking a moment away from my screen really helps to cut down on the headaches I get. In the bathroom I sometimes like to check and fix my makeup or hair, so I can look and feel my best.
I’ve always wanted to do power poses in the office, but I was honestly kind of embarrassed to do them in front of my coworkers. In the office bathroom, I have more space and I’m usually alone, so I can power pose without worrying about the whole office staring at me. Sometimes someone will walk in when I’m power posing, but it’s pretty uncommon, and usually when they see me they end up wanting to join in! Power poses are known to boost hormone production, and always end up making me feel more confident and energized. I also like to stretch in the bathroom, focusing on touching my toes and stretching my back and arms. Sitting all day is hard on my body, and if I don’t stress I end up feeling stiff and tired at the end of the day.
I’m lucky to work in an office that has a nice bathroom, along with including amenities like hand sanitizer, air freshener, and other items. But really, the space itself is what makes the bathroom my sanctuary. Being able to step away from my desk into a place where I can spread out a little more, take a breath, and reset, is what has made the bathroom such a great place for me to destress. It’s not only helped me to be happier, but has also helped me to up my work game as a whole.