You know how fortunate you are to have a job and career that provides for your life and your family. At the same time the demands of the job can throw a lot of stress into the mix. Managing stress on the job is a skill and it can be helpful to have some strategies in place. Here are some ideas to help you develop a plan for busting work-place stress. (Some of the links are to outside links that contain valuable resources and some of the links are also affiliate links that will provide me a small commission when purchases are made)
Notice Your Stress Triggers
Mindful awareness is the first key to managing stress. While you might not be able to eradicate the stress triggers entirely, if you can identify them you can take steps to monitor your reactions. When you feel those first signs of stress you might notice, “Ah! That’s happening because of what occurred thirty minutes ago,” From there, you can consciously slow down your breathing, take a brisk walk, or turn your thoughts to something pleasant.
You’re able to feel much more in control if you have the time to get everything done. But alas, this isn’t always the case. While you might have to wait a little while until the working week is shortened, you can make your time more manageable by getting organized. You’ll feel much more relaxed if it doesn’t feel like your duties are always one step ahead of you. When it comes to keeping stress at bay, your time management will be one of the best tools in your arsenal.
Break Up the Work Day
We’re not wired to work eight or more hours straight. In order to be at your productive best, you need to be taking regular breaks in order to recharge your mental functions. Breaks throughout the work day allow you to release accumulated stress bit by bit and return to a relaxed state so you’ll operate at your optimum.
Dress for Comfort
It’s much easier to feel relaxed and stress-free if you feel comfortable in your clothes There are many reasons why Silicon Valley workers feel less stressed and one reason is they are encouraged to dress for comfort. While we can’t all work for a tech start-up it doesn’t mean that you can’t feel comfortable. One of my favorite tricks is dressing up a pair of yoga pants and a loose cotton blouse with a scarf or a long necklace. If you work in the medical profession get a uniform that’s agreeable – you can find more at MedCoutureScrubShop.com. If you work in a corporate office, then make sure you’re buying comfortable shoes and throw a blazer on over a soft pant suit. It might seem like these are only small changes, but being relaxed in what we’re wearing really does make a difference.
If the weight is too heavily slanted in the work direction, then there’ll be no surprise that you’re beginning to feel the strain. While you might not be able to reduce your working hours, you can influence how you approach your life outside of work. For example, are you spending your evenings checking your emails? I strongly encourage you to put the phone and laptop away once home from work. You need your free time to catch up with your state of mind. Make sure you’re setting that time to doing the things that you enjoy doing, seeing friends and family, and so on.
Find What Relaxes You
Our society is set up for busy, busy, on-the-go activities to the point we’ve forgotten what it means to relax. It’ll take some trial and error to find the things that make you feel calm and relaxed, but it’s well worth it to make concerted effort to figure out what works for you. Some of the classic relaxation methods may be just the ticket – taking a bath, reading, and going for long walks. A couple of hours reading a favorite author can change your entire perception of the day. Consider learning to meditate. Have you tried utilizing essential oils? How about a nice cup of soothing organic tea? All of these options can help your body and brain to come together into a state of relaxation.
Avoid Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
It’s tempting to find ways to cope with our stress, but these aren’t always good. If you’re turning to alcohol as a way to unwind after a stressful day, then you need to be careful – that one glass of wine can quickly turn into much more. While it might seem like these are relaxing you, they’re not – you’ll be more stressed in the long run. Find healthier ways to manage your stress levels.
Learn to Say No
We’re our own worst enemies sometimes. We often find it hard to simply say no, even though we know that it’s going to cause us more stress to say yes. If you’re one of those people who says yes to every request, then learn the art of saying no. You don’t have to do everything just because people ask you to.
Schedule a Vacation or Retreat
Sometimes, the best thing you can do will be to take a nice extended break from work and daily life. Spend a week lying on the beach, or in the mountains, and you’ll return to work refreshed and ready to go, better able to perform your duties and your stress a thing of the past. If you are a female psychotherapist or other helping professional, come join me for my Self Care & Meditation Retreat in the beautiful Georgia Mountains!
Managing stress in the work place begins with a conscious decision to have a plan and regular practice of self care as well as putting into place mechanisms and systems for keeping yourself and your life in balance.