As we move into the new year and we return to work, so too does the stress and anxiety levels associated with daily life in a job. Each workplace is difference when it comes to work loads, however the one thing that must remain stable is how you manage the stressful periods.
They say we spend more time at work than with our loved ones, and it’s true. Day in, day out we make our way to work. Some of us enjoy it, some of us hate it, and sometimes it just all seems a bit overwhelming.
Some stress is reasonable, but it becomes an issue when it is excessive and ongoing. Here are some strategies everyone can adopt to manage and reduce their own stress levels, as well as find a positive work-life balance.
Five Simple Strategies to Manage Workplace Stress
Organisation is Key
It can be as simple as having your day planned or a clean, tidy desk – having your life in order immediately helps minimise the chances of extra stress. Imagine being under the pump but can’t find an important document or knocking over your coffee cup – disaster! Clutter and disorganisation breeds negativity so take 10 minutes a day to get this under control.
Keeping an eye on Physical Health
You can’t ignore the facts, eating and sleeping well, as well as exercising make you happy and help boost all the happy chemicals in your body.
The simple beauty is, if you look after your body, the mind will follow. So perhaps factor in some physical activity during your day – perhaps a lunch time walk or a standing desk. Avoid those big fatty and boozy lunches and bring your own energy boosting snacks and meals.
At home make sure you sleep well as research says lack of sleep can lead to long term mental health, so try your best to put work to one side and give yourself some downtime before bedtime.
Perfection – When is good, good enough?
Being a high achiever can help you feel good about yourself and excel at work. Being a perfectionist, on the other hand, can drive you towards stress. Especially in busy, fast-paced jobs, you may not be able to do everything perfectly. But striving to just do your best and then congratulating yourself on the effort is a good strategy. Your results will actually be stronger, and you’ll be much less worried at work.
With any good project you need tasks, responsibilities, budgets and timelines. It’s so important to set these in your day to day work life to try and eliminate all worst-case scenarios.
If you don’t know exactly what’s expected of you, or if the requirements keep changing with little notice, you may find yourself much more stressed than necessary.
Use Downtime Wisely
Working mentally for a solid eight hours is not physically possible, and by doing so you can put undue stress on yourself with a mindset that you just have to push on through.
Experts suggest that by blocking out time to concentrate followed by periods of recovery can boost your productivity. By planning your day, you can allocate your mind time to breathe and recover. A few simple steps could be booking in 10 minutes to walk and talk to a colleague and catch up or pop out for a bit of fresh air – give yourself time to regroup before you start work again.
Workplaces come in all shapes and forms and it’s sad to see workplace stress statistics on the rise.
My Final Thought
Returning to work after a lovely, long break is not something anyone enjoys – they don’t call it the “post-holiday blues” for nothing!
As the deadlines creep in and the demands begin to grow, so does the amount of stress we have to balance in our lives. A few simple strategies you implement today, will save you in the long run.
I leave you with one of my favourite quotes to remind you that we need to put ourselves first.
"Nothing goes right on the outside when nothing is going right on the inside" -Matthieu Ricard