We all lead busy lives and it can be very easy to get overwhelmed. It can often feel like we’re deluged with information and we’re expected to do more with less time. This is nowhere more evident than in the workplace. As technology has evolved, so has our access to information and the way in which we communicate – think of the constant stream of emails trickling in on our desktop backgrounds and our phones vibrating with news alerts – all of which can be a major source of stress.
Of course, stress at work stems from a variety of sources. Feeling overworked, job insecurity, a demanding workload, these can all impact your health and leaving you feeling drained and unwell.
While there’s no magical cure to eliminating stress, or the causes or stress, there are tools and techniques that you can employ to help de-stress:
Taking care of yourself
We’ve all heard these before – but getting enough sleep and drinking enough water are small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in how you feel on a daily basis. Finding a source of exercise that you enjoy is also a great way to switch off from work and maintain both your physical and mental health. Many people credit yoga as helping to reduce stress, or even just going for a short walk every day. Maybe you enjoy reading, cooking, or even just binging on the latest Netflix show – take the time to relax and do something you enjoy.
Changing your mindset
When we’re feeling stressed it can be easy to fall into negative patterns of behavior and give in to knee-jerk reactions, whether that be worrying over something, or feeling irritated or pessimistic. It sounds easy, but whenever the threat of stress looms over your head, remember to take a deep breath. Take a break from your work space and examine your breathing. When we’re stressed and when we’re relaxed our breathing is vastly different. Also, remember that you can’t control the uncontrollable, and try and find the humor in a potentially negative situation. Taking the time to crack a joke with coworkers can go a long way in making your day better.
Ever heard the one about how they’re not obstacles, they’re opportunities? Well, it’s true! When you’re feeling overwhelmed and inclined to see the worst-case scenario, try and find a new way of solving the problem instead. Ask yourself what has worked in the past, and also try and step outside the issue and examine the problem objectively. Break the problem down into parts, and tackle the smallest one first.
Time can often feel like the enemy when you’re stressed, even in a 40-hour work week. First of all, accept that you only have so many hours in the day! Then it’s simply a matter of finding the best ways to be efficient. There are some great project management apps out there that you can employ for your personal use – OpenWorks likes Trello. Keeping an active checklist is also a great way to maximize your time. For example, set yourself 6 tasks each day and allow yourself one hour for each task. This helps to feel like you’re making progress on your task list as well as still allowing time to respond to emails.
Reach out to your manager or someone at work and discuss your stress indicators at work. Ultimately, staying silent doesn’t benefit anyone, and it’s in everyone’s best interests to try and create a healthy and productive workplace. Discuss what it is that makes you feel stressed and brainstorm strategies to prevent it. Adopting a solution-based mindset will not only make you feel better by taking action, but hopefully the results will make you feel happier and healthier!
These are just a few things that you can try to reduce stress in your life. While it’s by no means a comprehensive list, we hope it goes a small way to making your day better!
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