A basketball hoop is a great choice. Some people (in fact most people) need to move their bodies when they think. The simple repetition of tossing a ball into a hoop is enough to get your creative juices flowing. Sink a basket while on speaker phone to keep you focused and on task or shoot some hoops when you’ve faced a seemingly insurmountable problem. Moving your body releases stress and keeps you from tensing up. Plus, it’s fun.
Another option is a toy gun. place a few targets on your cube, if allowed and shoot. Again, the repetition of such acts will keep you focused and calm you.
Any kind of puzzle or game that requires concentration can be very relaxing for people. A Rubik’s cube is a great choice to keep your hands busy and mind focused while you sort out a problem or need a little timeout. The same can be said for pick up sticks, monkeys in a barrel, or those peg board games you loved when you were a kid. These are all games that you can do in short bursts in order to get some energy flowing or give your mind a break.
3. Coloring Books
Do you need to decompress on your lunch hour? Coloring is scientifically proven to lower stress levels. There are great options for adult coloring books that are intricate, whimsical, or silly.
4. Something That Makes You Laugh
Love the Simpsons? Throw Homer on your wall. Seinfeld fan? There are so many great one liners–make your own poster or buy one from a novelty store. Missing your family? Blow up and frame a goofy family photo. Any of these options can warm up your office and make you smile.
5. Fidget Toys
Hosting a conference call? Does presenting make you feel anxious? Use fidget toys to get the nervous energy out. Stress boys, bendy toys, stretchy toys, and Play-doh are all better options that bending a paperclip. You can use a small stress ball during a presentation if you need something to do with your hands and more complex toys that live on your desk.
6. An Ostrich Pillow
We are obsessed with these (pictured above). They are ideal for the fifteen minute nap if you can find a space to be alone. Just don’t forget to set the alarm on your phone.