healthy-heart-relax-at-work.jpgBombarded by work, email, phone calls or tedious tasks. We’ve all been there. There are times in your day when sometimes all you need is a break or a distraction to rejuvenate yourself – these little actions can even save your life. How do you relax in the midst of a busy day?

Some of us find time to relax on weekends, but the majority of us need a little R&R periodically throughout the week.
did a little researching on the topic with an editorial called “Relax or Die: Lack of Weekend R&R puts Hearts at Risk”. This article suggests that those who are not able to (or just plain don’t try to) relax on the weekends are more likely to die from a cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease or stroke. Researchers in Finland studied a group of nearly 800 workers for 28 years. Their study reveals that out of their subjects, those who failed to find time to recover from their workweek on weekends were more likely to eventually die of cardiovascular disease.

The theory, as related by Dr. Mika Kivimaki, the leader of the study, is as follows:

If people are not able to relax periodically or on weekends, plaques can build up in their arteries (major channels that blood is pumped through), leading to blockages (bad), which contribute to potential heart attacks and or strokes (dangerous and often fatal), a culmination of events known in the medical field as underlying atherosclerosis.

This may take years to build up, and there are many factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease. However, this study did not take the usual suspects that lead to heart risk into account such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, inactivity, or mental and emotional strain such as stress or depression.

I’m not a doctor by any means, but I think that we could all take small steps each day to avoid stress or at least counteract it.

What can do you to relax when you are at work?
A brisk walk on a lunch break, deep breathing exercises, laughing, prayer, and surrounding yourself with calming elements, for example, family photos or ambient music, are excellent ideas. Cut down on caffeine, think positive thoughts, and take a minute for yourself when you need one.

relax-flowers.jpgSomething that I do every so often is visit a blog that is completely unrelated to the voice industry.
My sister-in-law Lisa, a graphic designer, introduced me to a series of blogs from the design industry that she researches on a regular basis. While she prefers to gather information and ideas, I just let the colors, patterns, images, domesticity, and design layouts entertain me and alleviate any minor stresses that crop up.

If you need to get away for a minute or two and can’t leave your desk, try visiting a few of these design blogs. Take a moment to admire the artwork, designs, and creativity. Here are a few that I peruse when I need to chill out or grant myself a break from mental acrobatics:
Print and Pattern
Oh Joy!
Daily Candy

For the most part, these blogs and websites will be appealing to a female audience. Perhaps for the gentlemen, it might be something more along the lines of sports, business, or hobbies. Maybe reading VOX Daily is a part of your relaxation routine… if so, I’m glad to be of service!

How do you relax at work?
Is there anywhere specific online you go to that helps you to unwind?
Looking forward to your comments!

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. Great article Stephanie!
    While working at throughout the week, answering calls, emails, chat and conducting profile reviews, I make a conscious decision to take a break. I sometimes find myself so caught up in my work that I forget to take a break.
    Because our office is located in such a beautiful location I take a good 15 to 30 minute walk outside. I find that the fresh air helps me relax and gain a little bit of energy to that I can continue to provide outstanding customer service to our members and those interested in our services.

  2. Stephanie,
    Like you folks, I spend a good bit of my day in a very beautiful location, surrounded by woods. When I need a break I often get up and go “on patrol” as one of my former employers called it. In other words, I just get up and walk around for at least a few minutes, chatting with the people I meet along the way.
    Be well,

  3. Stephanie,
    Thanks for these informative points to ponder. I’m loving the VOX Daily!
    To relax, between a voice-over or narration, I head outside and shoot some hoops, also being in a wooded area, nice to walk thru the woods, clearing my mind, while giving thanks to GOD for being so blessed, and loving my job and business as a voice actor!


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