A certain amount of stress may be inevitable in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t lessen its impact. Learning to manage stress will not only increase your efficiency but could also keep you healthier in the long run.
Here are a few tips from Compass Offices that you can do from your desk to keep stress at bay.
1. Get moving
It’s common knowledge that exercise releases endorphins, helping you to feel happier and, by extension, less stressed.
While you obviously can’t just start jumping rope in the middle of the meeting room, try pacing the room instead. It will help you get the circulation moving next time you’re stuck on a long conference call. Another simple trick is to use a smaller water glass. This will force you to get up and walk to the water cooler more often.
These tricks may not compare to a full cardio session, but remember that every step adds up!
2. Get organised
According to researchers at UCLA, clutter can increase your anxiety. A day-to-day example of this is your boss needing a specific file ASAP, only to find it’s buried under a mountain of other documents.
That moment of stress can easily be avoided. Minimise clutter with containers for everything from paper clips to binders, ensuring that there are no loose objects and that everything has a place. This also goes for digital debris. Try to have as few unnamed documents or random folders on your desktop as possible. More importantly, close tabs once you’ve finished with them.
3. Leave the building
Depending on your company’s policy, try to take your full lunch hour. If that’s truly impossible, then aim for at least 30 minutes. In the case of being your own boss, then remember to take a lunch break full stop!
Even if you’ve packed last night’s leftovers, leave the building to grab a drink – not only to stretch your legs, but also to escape the fluorescent and take in some vitamin D. Lack of exposure to sunlight during the darker winter months can cause psychological stress, so a small daily dose of sunlight can definitely help boost your mood.
4. You are what you eat
Keeping yourself well-nourished is vital for surviving the working day, but be conscious of your snacking choices. The Huffington Post quotes Heather Bauer, R.D. as saying that processed foods can increase stress levels. So step away from those vending machine chips and pick up some organic dried mangos instead.
5. Prioritise, prioritise!
No one expects you to be superhuman. If you are feeling overwhelmed, aim to politely decline more work. If that’s just not possible, then always ask for the deadline. Asking everyone who demands something of you, “When do you need this by?” will enable you to create an efficient schedule for yourself – and one that you alone control.
6. Don’t worry, be app-y
These days, we spend so much time staring at our smartphones so why wouldn’t we use it as a tool to de-stress? Plasticity is an app that provides short training activities such as asking you to focus on an aspect of your work that you are grateful for, helping you to alter your perspective over time.
Breathe2Relax gives you breathing exercises to help you focus on regaining calm after a stressful episode, and The Worry Box allows you to list all of your concerns and lock them away in a virtual box. Whatever your method of choice to reduce stress, in this day and age there’s probably a digital genie waiting to help you regain your equilibrium.