No matter which type of job that you work, from a standard office position in a cubicle to one that’s more active like construction or life-guarding, 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. By treating yourself right and prioritizing your well-being, you can keep work stresses under control.
First, you have to 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, sit still, close your eyes, and notice 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 actually 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 eat or read a book or take a walk, do so slowly. You’ll find that stress begins to melt when you deliberately slow your pace.
Also, to reduce stress during break time or lunchtime, try to make it a point to be social. Maybe you speak with a coworker, but you can also take this time to call your spouse, your family, or even a friend. 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.
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.