It’s not your fault you’ve been a homebody lately. Work has been insanely busy lately, and you just haven’t had a minute to yourself—let alone a whole day to catch up with friends. But it’s time to ask yourself: how long has it been since you had a day—or even a few hours—completely free from work? If you can’t remember, you could be a ticking time bomb that is days away from losing its cool in court.

Three Ways Court Reporters Can Relieve Stress in Under 10 Minutes

We hear a lot about stress: it can cause physical symptoms, it causes insomnia, and it can even shorten your lifespan. But did you know that suffering stress at work can result in poorer performance at the job you’re sacrificing your health for? Stress is a contributing factor in over two-thirds of doctor visits, while increased workload dramatically increases the likelihood of long-term (and usually doctor-ordered) absence from work.

Nobody’s saying you need to take a vacation, although it wouldn’t be a bad idea. The truth is there are plenty of ways court reporters can take micro-breaks: invigorating blocks of “time off” that take just a handful of minutes every day.

The next time you start to feel the energy flagging or your fuse burning too short, consider taking a…

  • Walk. Many court reporters see a deposition break as an opportunity to go over the transcript. A break should actually be a break; you will function much better in the rest of the deposition if you get up and leave the room. A small amount of physical exercise can wake up your mind and allow your body to relax.
  • Facebook quiz. It can be extremely enervating to spend every minute of the day on the job. Not only does moving from one work task to the next make the day drag on, it also increases the chances of making mistakes in your work. Your brain can only think about the same topic for so long before it starts getting bored, forgetting to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. A mental break—such as checking Facebook, reading a news article, doing a crossword puzzle—anything unrelated to the work you are doing will give your brain the energy boost it needs.
  • Breath. The simple act of controlled deep breathing can allow you to tune out your surroundings and regain control of a tough day. Think of breathing as your brain’s way of resetting a blown fuse: stop, sit down, and take a deep breath, giving your mind a minute to recover from everything you ask of it in a day. You will likely find that only a few deep breaths are needed before you are calmer, more focused, and even eager to return to work.

Do you have a “secret weapon” you use to relive stress on a tough day?

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