Mounting tasks, tight deadlines and difficult clients can all increase a busy professional’s stress levels throughout the working day. Not only can this lead to a low mood, but it can also result in various health consequences.
To help take control of your mental and physical health, you must adopt various strategies to help you eliminate pressure and tension from your body. Find out how to lower your stress levels at work.
Counteract Stress Levels at Work
Scrambling to get the kids ready for school and being stuck in seemingly endless traffic jams can result in rising stress levels. If you want to start your day off right, you must aim to counteract a stressful morning. For instance, enjoy a healthy breakfast (even if you need to eat a banana or apple on the go), plan your day the night before, and adopt a positive attitude.
Avoid Workplace Conflict
Workplace conflict can easily take its toll on your mental health. As you will be forced to see your colleagues every day, you would be wise to avoid workplace conflict as much as possible, so you can simply focus on completing your tasks and climbing the career ladder. To do so, you must steer clear of gossip, never share your opinions on politics or religion, and avoid seemingly confrontational people.
Improve Your Organization Skills
A lack of organization can increase your stress at work. Remain calm and collected by planning your day, focusing on your most important projects first and working your way down. You also should try to maintain a clean, tidy desk, so you can easily find an important document, book or notebook.
Take a Break from the Workplace
Spending too much time in a workplace can make you feel unhappy, stressed and claustrophobic. That’s why it’s important to take a step back from your task list to enjoy a much-needed break.
For instance, you should take a stroll around the block on your lunch break, grab a coffee at a local chain, or even step outside to enjoy some fresh air or enjoy some window shopping. It will allow you to return to your to-do list with a more positive attitude.
Enjoy Some Exercise After Work
If stress is building up inside your body, it might be helpful to enjoy some exercise after work, such as boxing, running or yoga. Physical activity will not only remove the tension stored inside your muscles, but it can also help to clear your thoughts so that you can take control of your emotions. While it is not a sure-fire antidote to stress, it can help you to calmly deal with your problems and put your feelings into perspective.
Avoid Unhealthy Crutches
Many people adopt unhealthy habits when under pressure at work. For example, they might turn to alcohol after a hard day or indulge in fattening foods to cheer themselves up. Unfortunately, these unhealthy crutches cannot only lead to health issues, but they can also lower your mood. While they might provide you with temporary relief, they cannot tackle the root cause of your stress at work.
Increase Your Comfort
Physical discomfort can affect your emotional wellbeing. For instance, an uncomfortable chair can make you feel anxious and restless when sitting at a desk all day long. It can also cause physical problems, such as a sore back, which can place stress on your body. Even office noise can increase tension and anxiety.
If you believe this could be causing unnecessary stress, you should request a more comfortable chair from your employer. If possible, you could listen to music at work or move to a quieter area of an office.
Ask Your Boss for Clarity
Never suffer in silence at work. If you don’t know what is expected of you, or a task’s requirements keep changing with minimal notice, you should speak to your manager to stop your stress levels from rising.
If you don’t, you might not know what they expect from you when delivering a project, or if you are performing in your role, which can cause unnecessary anxiety. You can trust your boss would rather you ask them for clarity instead of suffering in silence.
Concentrate on the Areas You Can Control
Change can be difficult. Rather than worrying about the future, you should spend your time focusing on the areas of your career you can control. For example, you cannot stop an employer from making redundancies, but you can focus on performing well in your job or finding a new role at another company. A proactive approach will help to combat stress, as you’ll have a firmer control of your future.
Track Your Stressors
If you feel stressed but don’t know the root cause, consider keeping a journal to track potential stressors. To identify the situations that are causing you the most stress, you should record your emotions and detail information about your environment or requirements. You also should make a note of the people or circumstances that might have triggered you to raise your voice or feel emotional on the way home from work.
Establish Work/Life Boundaries
Every employee has a right to switch off from work. If you are spending your evenings and weekends checking your emails, answering work-related calls, and reading industry articles, you might need to establish work/life boundaries. Stop obsessing over your job and enjoy more quality time alone or with your loved ones, so you will feel relaxed and refreshed the next working day.
Maximize Your Vacation Days
Many people make the mistake of spending their vacation days sitting in front of a TV. Don’t allow one spare minute to go to waste by finding ways to maximize your vacation days.
For example, turn off your smartphone, grab your loved ones, and enjoy a relaxing trip at home or abroad. Taking time to unwind in a different setting will ensure you return to your role feeling reinvigorated, so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running once you’re back at work.
As well as lowering your stress levels at work, be sure to lower your stress levels at home by leaving work issues at work.