This post was contributed by Gloria Martinez who started WomenLed.org to celebrate the advancements women have made and to inspire women to become entrepreneurs and seek promotions in the workplace.

Being stressed due to work is not an uncommon issue. Even those who are doing what they love everyday succumb to a little work-related stress here and there. Having an unblocked creative process is a great way to set yourself up to excel during your workday; however, eliminating stress is key to being able to do so. Here are a few tips to help you lighten your load and maintain a steady, healthy creative process sans stress!

Fuel Your Body with the Good Stuff

Many times, stress leads to poor dietary choices. It is important that you watch what you choose to indulge in because what you put into your body has a direct effect on your work performance. Throughout the day you may find yourself filling up on vending machine snacks and take-out food. While these choices are convenient, they produce zero energy and have the tendency to make you sluggish throughout the day. Opting to pack a lunch filled with healthy options such as leafy, green vegetables and whole foods will fill your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Going out to unwind after work may seem like a good idea, but the effects of drinking can stifle your creative process and productivity at work the next day. After a night of drinking you may suffer from a hangover or feel poorly the next day. When you feel like this, you are unable to focus or think clearly which compounds more stress on you physically and mentally. To avoid this, consider other healthier stress-relieving activities. For example, decompress by taking a long bath or by taking your dog for a walk. Activities like these help you relax, allow you to keep a clear mind and set you up for a healthy tomorrow.

Read a Book

It is extremely frustrating when your creative process is blocked. Taking a break from reality is one of the best ways to take a time out and give your mind the charge it needs. Reading a book will allow you to drift away from your current situation and get lost in the fictional tale of a character. As you look at life through someone else’s eyes, you stimulate your mind which keeps it strong and healthy. Reading also improves your focus and concentration, which is needed because your attention is pulled in different directions throughout the day. When you multitask, your stress levels rise and your productivity decreases. Reading for 15-20 minutes a day will help you destress and reset your mind which will allow your creativity to soar. Keep a print book handy in your desk to reap these benefits while giving your mind a break from digital activity.

Listen to a Guided Meditation

You are probably familiar with meditation and the benefits that come with it, however you may not have the time and space to actively practice it at work. What’s so amazing about listening to a guided meditation is that you can do it from your desk in under ten minutes! A guided meditation is a mind-body practice where you meditate in response to the instruction of an experienced teacher. As you listen, you will become calm and balanced, while stress and tension become an afterthought. Meditation allows you to clear your mind from distractions and information overload that has built up over time. You will gain a new perspective on stressful situations, increase self-awareness and reduce negative emotions. The benefits of a guided meditation will resonate with you throughout the day which will alleviate mental block and enhance creativity. You can find short yet beneficial guided meditations through an online search, or you may download them to your smartphone.

Being stressed is the quickest way to zap your creativity at work, and if you aren’t careful, stress can overwhelm you and morph into other mental wellness issues, such as depression or addiction. Fortunately you can be proactive by developing good habits and giving yourself a mental break. Start implementing these tips today to de-stress and give your work performance the boost it needs!