We’ve all been there — that panicked feeling you get when the emails are piling up, the phone won’t stop ringing, and the overwhelming feeling of being stressed out, maxed out, and tapped out comes over you. Stress is not uncommon in the workplace. According to a study conducted about attitudes in the American workplace, 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job and more than half feel they need help learning how to manage that stress. Stress can play a big part in a variety of health problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, depression, premature aging and the list goes on!
At LG-PR we think a healthy workplace is a happy workplace, so we’re bringing you a few tips to help you manage your stress levels and avoid damaging your health.
- Eat and sleep well – Tackling stress starts before you even leave the house. By eating a balanced diet, i.e. avoiding over processed/sugary foods and eating whole and nutritious meals, you can start feeling better from the inside out. Getting the recommended amount of sleep is also important for rejuvenation and body recovery. Aim for no less than 6 ½ hours and try a few tactics to help knock you out at night. We suggest chamomile and lavender teas, eye pillows, soundscapes (easily found on Pandora), and incorporating this breathing trick that’s been shown to help you fall asleep. Cover your right nostril and breath through your left for 3-5 minutes.
- Schedule breaks in your day – Oftentimes during the day we forget to take a break for anything other than lunch. We cram our work into the allotted time and sometimes even forget to break for nourishment. This is a recipe for disaster. Not only do you need to break to eat your lunch, but also you should plan quick 5-minute pick-me-ups for things like stretching your legs, taking a walk, or perhaps even a light meditation with a few simple breathing exercises. A recent study regarding human energy levels revealed that if we have intense concentration for 90 minutes, followed by a brief period of recovery, we can clear stress build up and feel more rejuvenated during the day.
- Plan for interruptions – No day is perfect. There will almost always be some kind of distraction or interruption during the day. A variety of things may come up with coworkers, emails, your personal life, etc. What you can do is anticipate many of the recurring interruptions. You can plan special windows of time dedicated to checking emails, set aside office hours to talk with coworkers, or just close the door (if you have the option) for better focus.
- Prioritize – Tackle your to-do list in a way that puts the most critical deadlines first. Take the time to identify what’s truly important for the function of your organization and completion of your goals then work your way down. Having an idea of what needs to get done and the order in which you will do it aids in focusing throughout the day.
- Embrace mistakes – We all make mistakes! No human is 100 percent perfect, so try to remember this the next time you run into a problem at work. Try showing a little compassion towards yourself. Change your mindset from being on edge about all the things that could go wrong, to focusing on what you do well and carrying that confidence into other facets of your work. And if something does go wrong (which it will), embrace it as a learning experience and try to remember the lesson for next time.
Take this toolbox of techniques for dealing with stress and forge a new path to being happy, healthy and calm in the workplace!