No matter what type of job you have, from a standard office position in a cubicle to one that’s more active like construction or lifeguarding, stress will always arise from time to time. You may feel a big crunch for a sudden deadline or just overwhelmed with your duties. Sometimes small spurts of stress may push you to work harder and get a job done. However, constant stress that does not abate will negatively affect your productivity. If your job leaves you feeling distressed on a near daily basis, you should take steps to combat this. Here are some tips for reducing stress at work so you can remain productive and mentally healthy.
First, you must take time for yourself throughout the day. You may already have scheduled break times at work. If so, make the most of these. If not, ask your employer about considering breaks once or twice a day. During this time, try to decompress by sitting still, closing your eyes, and regulating your breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly, breathing in through your nose and releasing air through your mouth. According to Judith Tutin, PhD, slow breathing can reduce your blood pressure, calming you down.
Also, when taking a break, take some time to reduce your pace. The working world often blitzes along at a breakneck speed. However, during break time or lunchtime, you should take a step back. Whatever you do, whether it’s eating lunch, reading a book or taking a walk, do so at a slower pace. You’ll find that stress begins to melt away when you deliberately slow your pace.
Also, to reduce stress during break time or lunchtime, try to make it a point to be social. Talking with a coworker or calling your spouse, your family, or even a friend will help take your mind off work. Check in with them, even if for five minutes. You’ll find as you hang up that you feel happier and ready for the afternoon stretch.
Tips for Reducing Stress at Work During the Day
If you often feel anxious about the day ahead, you can decompress before you even arrive to work. For example, plan out your day to the best of your abilities the night before. Schedule time to work on that big project, reply to emails and phone calls, and then more time to take care of the rest of your duties. Of course, don’t plan to the minute, as you never know when a coworker may call a meeting, or your boss may want you to tackle another job. However, having a loose outline of what your day consists of makes it look more achievable and thus less stress-inducing.
You can also get ready for the day ahead by taking care of yourself outside of work. Make sure that you eat a nutritious diet and get some physical activity in, even if it’s just walking. You should also make sure that you always get sufficient sleep, at least seven or eight hours. You’ll naturally feel irritable and less productive when you’re running on little sleep, and that also makes it easy to feel stressed. By following some of these tips, you’ll go into work with a clear head ready to take on the day with little breaks for your health and happiness along the way.