Six Tips and Habits to Keep Work Stress in Check
None of us are strangers to feeling stressed out at work, myself included. Whether it is an upcoming deadline, a big presentation, or just an overall high-demand position – there can be days where we feel less in control. To help me lower the stress level and focus on the job at hand, I started incorporating stress management techniques into my daily routine, and guess what? They work! Here are six ways I keep the stress levels in check every day:
1. Get outside – You know the saying, “a breath of fresh air”? Well, there’s a reason that taking a deep breath outside has its own expression! Taking a deep breath will not only relax you, but get you feeling energized and ready to tackle anything! If you don’t have time for a full break, take a quick 15 minute walk outside to get your blood flowing and let some new oxygen in.
2. Get your sweat on – If you work in a job that allows for it, try to get a workout in during lunch. It is a great way to break up the day, release some endorphins, and get your adrenaline pumping to help get you through the rest of the afternoon. A lot of gyms and studios offer 30-45 minute lunch-time classes (and some office buildings even receive discounts at the studios nearby) – so take advantage of it, and get a quick workout in.
3. Get organized – Nothing can start a day off on the wrong foot like opening your e-mail to find unread messages, un-checked “to do” boxes, and a list of meetings scheduled for the day. If you’re not the type of person to naturally stay organized, set a block of time on your calendar at the end of each day to prepare for the next. It can be a 15-30 minute block of time at 4:30pm to go through unread emails, get up to date on your to-do list, and set an agenda for yourself for the next day. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of organization to get a stressful week back on track.
4. Get out of bed earlier – It can be easy to hit the snooze button multiple times (especially on a Monday), but laying in bed for longer than you should in the morning is not only going to make you late for work, but also make you more stressed! Running around in the morning trying to fit in to 30 minutes what you usually need an hour to do, is going to certainly start your day off wrong. So start setting your alarm earlier, and make sure you have enough time to get out the door for a stress-free commute.
5. Get focused – Remind yourself why you come to work every day with a visual representation on your desk. Whether it is your family, your true passion for what you do, or any other reason you have – make sure to remind yourself of that. A vision board or a simple photo can be a great thing to keep nearby as a reminder. It is the end goal that is important, and what keeps us motivated, focused and stress-free.
6. Get Away – Companies offer a couple weeks of vacation per year for a reason – use it! We all need to get away from the office from time to time to recharge and relax, so book a getaway or a staycation and enjoy it! If you work as a contractor, try to take some time off in-between contracts so you also have some time for R&R. Your company will be happy to see you come back from your time off refreshed and ready to work, instead of staying in the office and becoming burnt out.
I’ve used them all and they help. Try incorporating even one of these practices into your work routine, and see if you start feeling the benefits.