Recent studies have shown that work-related stress among Irish employees has doubled. Stress can have negative impacts on your physical and mental health, and your personal relationships. While everyone experiences stress in the workplace from time to time, if you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with it, you need to take a step back and work on self-care. Here are 4 ways to combat stress:
Most of us sit at our desks all day, only moving to make a cup of coffee or grab some lunch. The need to be glued to our desks all day comes from the ‘guilt’ that ‘we have so much to do’ and simply can’t afford to take more than a 5-minute break.
Purge those thoughts and get moving. Exercise is a great mood-booster – researchers at the University of Birmingham found that if sedentary office workers went for a walk during the day, it boosted their moods and increased their ability to manage stress. On your lunch break, get outside in the fresh air and go for quick walk – even if it is just for 15 minutes. You’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle the afternoon. Other options could be switching to a standing desk or taking walking meetings.
2. Make a to-do list
If you’ve got a mental to-do list that just keeps getting longer every time an email comes in, take a few minutes to write everything down and then prioritise the most important or time-sensitive tasks first. And make sure you set yourself clear (and mangeable) objectives and deadlines.
Not knowing where to start on your workload can be extremely overwhelming but having a list you can see and tick-off as you complete your tasks can help with your stress levels.
3. Practice breathing exercises
If you’re feeling stressed out, take a few minutes at your desk and breathe in for three seconds and out for three seconds.
A simple but effective exercise that will help you to calm down and prevent you lashing out at a co-worker.
4. Look/listen at something that makes you smile
Take your mind off things that are making your stressed or miserable at work by looking at something that evokes happiness. It could be your favourite podcast, a funny video, photos of your dogs.
Engaging with something you love is a great way to turn your mood around and your motivation and productivity will increase as a result.