We’ve all been there: buried under paperwork with 1,000+ things to do. It’s the common tale of a small-staff association professional tasked with too much to do and too little time to do it in.

Unfortunately, stress is a natural part of life – particularly in the association management space. But the good news is, there are several ways to combat that stress right at your own desk! Here are six of our favorite stress relieving techniques:

1. Get moving 

With spring right around the corner, now is the perfect time to step outside and get a little fresh air. Try walking around your building or up and down a few flights of stairs. The change in scenery will be a nice revitalizer and the light exercise will help get those endorphins flowing.

2. Crank up the tunes

Music is good for the soul, and according to research, good for other things too. In fact, listening to soothing music can actually help lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. Try creating a playlist of songs (soothing or upbeat – your choice!) and just letting your mind wander. Not only can this be a good distraction, but it can be a good source of inspiration too.

3. Tidy up

They say a cluttered house represents a cluttered mind, so if you’re feeling a little frazzled, why not try clearing up your desk a little? We’re not talking Extreme Home Makeover or anything, but even just throwing away old papers and post-its can really help work wonders. You’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief and refocus your attention on what matters.

4. Take deep breaths

If you’re really feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to just focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, close your eyes, and take several deep breaths – inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. It may sound silly, but deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing down your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure.

5. Unplug

Sometimes, reducing stress can be as simple as clicking a button – or rather, turning your electronic devices off. Now I know you can’t really do this at work, but think of it as something to do after hours. Now not to worry, you don’t have to ditch the tech for good. Just take a mini-media detox once or twice a week. Your brain will thank you.

6. Laugh out loud

You know what they say: A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything. That being said, if you’re feeling stressed out, try turning your attention to something funny and light-hearted. A little Ellen DeGeneres, anyone?!

Now if you’re really looking to relieve the stress of association management, it might be time to consider an association management system. An AMS is a technology solution that helps you manage your association’s membership using one integrated system. Event registration, email marketing, dues automation and more – you name it, an AMS does it.

Interested in learning more? Check out our free guide, “What Is an AMS?” below!