Ah, stress. It’s everyone’s favourite word, right? I know for me personally, the word itself is pretty stress-inducing.
I’ve found from personal experience that having a little bit of short-term stress in your life isn’t bad. In fact, I find it usually gives me the extra energy that I need to cross things off a growing to-do-list. It’s when I let stress compile over a longer period of time that it starts to become a problem.
I’ll know that I’ve reached the red-zone when I have a sense of being completely overwhelmed and an urge to check things off the list as fast as possible. When I’ve reached that point, I know it’s time to take a day or two for a breather.
Managing your stress at work is in everyone’s best interest. Being too stressed out is an awful feeling for yourself and unfortunate for your colleagues when they have to deal with a living, breathing stress machine. Nobody wins.
On top of that, your work will suffer too. Quality will never be a priority when you’re panicking. You’ll end up overlooking simple mistakes. When I look back at some of the work I’ve done when I was stressed, I usually won’t believe what I’m looking at with a fresh pair of relaxed eyes. It’s like I was a completely different person…because I actually was at the time!
That said, I’ve got a few tips that I use that helps keep me from boiling over when times get tough.
If there was ever a time to jump on the exercise bandwagon, it’s now. People forcefully push themselves to exercise for a reason. It genuinely makes you feel good and helps loads with clearing your head. There are times where I’m going to bed with a stressed mind and I can’t wait to wake up and run in the morning.
It just works, all the time! Once you’ve made exercise a normal part of your routine, your life is always going to be less stressful and you won’t even have to think hard about it.
It’s amazing how putting a conscious effort into breathing can make so much of a difference. It’s a simple way to get your mind to stop thinking about the “what-if’s” and focuses you on the “now”.
What helps me best is I’ll start by taking a slow deep breath through my nose. I’ll hold my breath for at least two seconds and then I’ll breathe out slowly through my mouth. I’ll repeat as many times as needed. After doing this a few times, I’ll find that I’ve immediately calmed myself down to where I can actually think.
The best part? This can be done at your desk while you’re working.
Sometimes the best thing for me to do when I’m stressed is to simply let my busy mind wander a bit while I’m working. Classical music is a common go-to for concentration but my favourite music for work has always been free-form jazz. (It also reminds me of when I lived in New Orleans).
Just be sure that whatever you listen to doesn’t have any singing! It might be a fantastic tune but there’s no better way to kill concentration than to start jamming along when you’re supposed to be writing.
Save those tunes for band practice after work!
Humans aren’t built to be sitting down all day. When you’ve been focused too long on a task, sometimes the best thing to do is to take a couple of minutes to go outside or at least leave your desk. Once I’ve sat back down, I’ll feel like a new person.
Use part of your lunch break to get out for a bit! (Assuming the weather is nice of course!)
I’ve learned from experience that stress is often just telling me to stop procrastinating on something and to actually, well, do something. It’s 100% right.
When I’m actually doing something, it’s like there’s no time to feel stressed anymore. As Nike always says, just do it!
Hopefully, my tips will help you keep the office a stress-free zone! Just remember that stress is a normal part of life and every now and then you’ll run into some difficult times where being in the red-zone is unavoidable. This is fine! Take a deep breath and just make it your goal to not let that happen too often.
Onwards to a happier, more productive, and stress-free life!
Want to chat about digital marketing, content, or other healthy living tips? Send me an email at [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you.
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