12 Tips to Effectively Combat Work Stress
August 6th, 2019 by Daniela McVicker
We all suffer from work stress at one time or another, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Too many of us suffer in silence for fear of looking like we can’t cope or aren’t up to the job, but that’s not a healthy mindset to adopt. The key to excelling at work is to put yourself in the right frame of mind to do your best work during work hours and to leave the stress and worry to one side. Here’re a dozen ways you can start changing the way you do things, so you get more done.
Don’t take your work home with you
There’s a misconception that being busy and being productive are the same thing; they’re not! If you want to be able to get more done during working hours, you need to be very strict with the way it impacts the rest of your daily life. Checking your email and having your phone open in the evenings is a big mistake, and it just opens the door to stress.
Resist the pull of weekend email sessions
In case you hadn’t already guessed it, this point follows on naturally from the last. It can be all too tempting to pull out your phone on the weekend to check your email, but for what? Well, you’re hyper-productive while putting your mind at ease. Wrong! What you’re doing is preventing your mind from resting after the mental exertions of the week that was. Take some rest, have a break, and beat the stress.
Listen to music while you’re working
Classical music has been shown to aid cognitive performance and relaxation, so why not give it a little listen when you’re working on that big report? It’ll give you the chance to switch off from external distractions so you can focus on the task at hand. You’ll be amazed at how much this frees you from feelings of being overwhelmed and under pressure.
Build a rapport with your boss
There comes a time in all our lives when we have to reassess how we cope with workplace stress. Too many of us see the boss as the enemy, but that’s not why they come to work. Your boss is someone you should be able to go to when you have an issue, and they’ll thank you for it when you do. If you don’t feel comfortable broaching the subject of stress straight off the bat, start sitting with them in the lunchroom until you feel comfortable.
Be open with your colleagues about how you’re feeling
Having a couple of colleagues, you can be yourself around is essential to your mental health and wellbeing. It’s all about having that pressure release where you can tell someone how you’re feeling, and then be able to get some constructive input on what you could do differently. Over time they’ll come to you when they inevitably feel stressed, and you’ll have the basis for a strong working relationship and friendship.
Change the subject in the lunchroom
Ask any of the people who work at writing companies, and they’ll tell you it’s not possible to work at your best when you’re stressed. One of the significant issues in large teams is the tendency to talk negatively about work, other departments, and the same old office politics during lunch. Changing the subject to just about anything else is the way to go here. It’ll give you all something to think about, and you’ll soon be laughing and joking about the latest mishaps at home and viral news stories on Facebook.
Workout before you get to the office
Don’t think you have what it takes to spend an hour on the treadmill at 5 am every morning? Never fear, here’re three ways you can work up a sweat without ruining yourself for the rest of the day:
- Take the dog for a brisk walk around the block before your commute
- Cycle to work if you live close enough
- Do a few laps in the pool across the road to get yourself ready for the day ahead
Avoid sugary foods and drinks to maintain a constant energy level
It’s always so tempting to reach for some chocolate or a Coke when you’re low on energy, but it won’t do your stress levels any good. The constant spikes and crashes in your blood sugar put a strain on the body, which in turn puts your mind under stress. Swap out the sugar for healthier alternatives like nuts, seeds, and a protein shake.
Lay off the tea and coffee if you can
When you want to beat the stress, you need to think about the daily habits you’ve developed. Tea and coffee with a couple of sugars are other things that are going to have to go. Green tea is an excellent alternative if you’re looking to have a few minutes of relaxation.
Get plenty of sleep the night before
You cannot overstate the importance of a good night’s sleep to your mental health. If you miss sleep regularly, your cognitive performance will be impaired, not to mention your ability to cope with stress and setbacks. Switch the TV off an hour early, head up to the bed, and read until you are ready to doze off. It’ll make more of a difference than you think.
Take regular breaks to stretch your legs
Getting out into the fresh air is alien in a lot of working environments, but it’s essential. Here’s 3 ways you can get outside every couple of hours:
- Run errands if anyone needs something done
- Pop-out for lunch or a cold drink if possible
- Take a walk around the block when the sun is shining
Make natural light a vital part of the working day
Last but not least, don’t forget the importance of natural light. It stimulates the production of Vitamin D, it helps beat stress, and your body has evolved to need it. If you can think of 3 better reasons to get plenty of natural light during the working day, then we’re all ears. And if you’re not lucky enough to be sat near a window, consider getting a natural light lamp to use at your desk.
Now that you’ve heard all about how to combat the age-old problem of work stress, all you have to do is start putting the hints and tips above into practice. It may not be easy at first, but if you stick with it, you’ll notice amazing results in no time at all.