When you're feeling stressed out at work, it can be really difficult to leave your stress at the office door, but there's a light at the end of the dark and gloomy tunnel; there are methods to handle work stress that you can turn to before things go from bad to worse.
Work-related stress creeps into other areas of your life like a toxic fog, turning you from a chilled out gal, to an erupting volcano within seconds. Small things that wouldn't have normally bothered you can metamorphose from tiny molehills into seemingly enormous mountains. You could end up bursting into tears when your yogurt lid decides to flick its contents on your top, or hurtling your coffee cup to the ground in a moment of rage when you miss the subway. Things that you could once laugh at or shrug off now seem like the end of the world.
There are many factors that can contribute to work-related stress, ranging from a crippling workload, a poor work-life balance, or competitive pressure. No matter the source(s), it's best to nip work-related stress in the bud, as soon as you spot it rearing its ugly head. According to The Huffington Post, many of us continue suffering with workplace stress, and "if you sometimes find yourself stressed out at your job and working off the clock to keep up, you're in the majority." So here's what you can do to help tackle your stress:
1. Take Care Of Yourself
Life can be super busy and hectic, but you need to make sure you're taking care of yourself. As adults, there's usually no one around to make sure we eat our vegetables, go to bed at a decent hour, or drink enough water. You know best what your body needs, and there are things all humans need to live a happy and healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, exercise, and time to relax. Set time aside to pamper yourself, make sure you're getting the optimal amount of sleep for you, and try to fit some regular exercise into your routine. These little changes could help you take control of your stress.
2. Stick To A Routine
Establishing a regular routine could help you get your stress levels in check. Try to incorporate the points previously mentioned: time to prepare healthy food, time for exercise, enjoyable downtime, and a regular bedtime. Dr. Alexis Shields discussed the benefits of a morning routine to reduce stress, in an article for Mindbodygreen. Dr. Shields said, "Luckily, there's something you can do at the start of your day to reduce the negative effects of stress: Establish a 15-minute healthy morning routine." So decide what would most benefit you and your lifestyle, then create a routine to suit you that will hopefully help to diminish your stress.
3. Confide In A Colleague
Don't suffer in silence, go for a coffee with a colleague and explain how you're feeling. Your colleague may have been through a similar experience, they may offer specific ways to help you or recommendations on how to get help within the company, or they might be feeling exactly the same way as you. Chances are, if you're both feeling the same way, there could be something amiss within the office — for instance, everyone may be feeling overworked, or there may not be appropriate systems in place to help you manage your workload. Together you could bring about change and help to improve your work environment, your everyday practices, or workflow systems.
4. Meditate In The Morning
In an article for Tiny Buddha, counselor and consultant Raphaela Browne, discussed things to do when stressed at work. Browne said, "Meditation is key." She recommends that people suffering from stress at work, "Spend at least ten minutes in the morning quiet and doing nothing before starting your work; prepare your mind for the day. A prepared mind will help you to sustain the stresses that life will place on you." You can download a handy meditation app or follow a guided mediation on YouTube if you're new to it.
5. Go For A Walk
Sometimes you just have to take yourself outside for a moment to collect your thoughts, get some fresh air, and regroup. According to The Huffington Post, there are a number of ways walking relieves stress, including the fact that, "Like any other cardiovascular exercise, brisk walking boosts endorphins," and, "It can put your brain in a meditative state." When you're feeling your stress levels rise, get out from behind your desk and go stretch your legs.
6. Seek Help From Your Boss
Your boss may already be aware that you are suffering from work-related stress, or they may have a clue that you've not been feeling yourself recently. Many folks in management are trained in how to mentor and aid their team with matters such as this, so it's likely that your boss will already know what steps to put in place in order to help you. They'd probably much rather you spoke to them about how you are feeling before it gets worse, so that later down the line you don't have to take time off due to stress. There's no shame in asking for help when you need it!
7. Book A Vacation
When was the last time you took some time off for some much needed R&R? If you can't remember your last holiday, you should probably book one ASAP! I'm not saying your work-related stress will just disappear completely when you go on vacation, but it will definitely give you some time out to recharge your batteries and return to work with a clear head.
Don't let work stress get the better of you, take control of it and bring your A game back to the boardroom!
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