“When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you just need to relax, breathe, let go and live in the moment.” – Unknown
Stress is one of those things that every single person experiences, more or less on a daily basis. Work, relationship issues, finances, societal pressures, and a great number of other things can cause a person to feel stressed but that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer from it every day.
I am an ex-alcohol and drug addict that has been sober for nearly a decade. Stress is one of the biggest triggers for an addict. As a recovering addict, too much stress can cause a relapse. That’s why finding healthy ways to effectively relieve, or fight stress was and is important to me.
Everyone is different with unique stress triggers of their own as well as ways of dealing with stress. However, work is one common trigger that many of us share. Whether or not you enjoy your job, anything from the desire to do better, to deadlines, probably make you feel anxious regularly. Too often, that anxiousness can build itself up into stress in no time. This is why today, I want to talk to you about 5 tried (by me) and tested things that can help relieve your work-related stress.
How to Manage Workplace Stress in 5 Easy Steps
Regular exercise of any kind is a great form of stress release. If you exercise every other day from 20 minutes to 2 hours per session, you’ll probably start feeling better and happier. This is because exercise gets your blood flowing and releases endorphins that act as natural pain relievers.
Exercise comes in so many different forms, you’re bound to find something that you like that works for you.
I was really hesitant when I first got started. The first thing I tried was the traditional workout routines with tons of pushups, situps, burpees and all of that. Those are great for some people but they just felt like unnecessary hard work to me.
Luckily, I kept trying new things like walking, running, cycling, and even martial arts. I found that I enjoyed working out a lot more when I wasn’t stationary. I love being in the outdoors, moving around, being in group settings, and the moment I figured that out is when I started enjoying myself. I actually look forward to exercising now and no longer think of it as a chore.
It’s important to incorporate exercise into your daily routine as well. It’s very simple. All you have to do is take the stairs instead of the elevator or the escalator, walk short distances instead of taking a cab or driving, things like that. Those small things will add up to help you get stronger and healthier every day.
Soon you’ll feel much better equipped to handle difficult work situations. The exercise will help clear your mind, boost your confidence and give you the energy to take on anything in your workload.
2. Healthy eating
We underestimate how the food we eat affects not only our physical health but also the way we feel. Eating a high sugar, high fat, or high carb diet with not much else will leave you feeling bloated, tired, and unhappy.
It’s really important to have a healthy, balanced diet full of the vitamins, nutrients and amino acids that will help your body and mind function at full capacity. It’s also important to make sure not to skip meals. Skipping meals can cause headaches, lack of energy, and irritability.
It’s not difficult at all to adopt a healthy diet, it just comes down to being mindful of what you put in your body. We often shirk this responsibility to our bodies, especially when we have a lot of work to do, and simply eat for the sake of eating without really making sure what we eat is actually doing any good for our bodies.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, try and stay away from oily food, or artificial sugars, and snack on trail mix instead of chips. Easy. Treat yourself every once in awhile but don’t overdo it. Balance is key.
Stress can really build up if all we think about is work and things that need to be done. It is incredibly important to also find a little bit of time to do things that bring you joy, things that you love.
I know, with busy schedules and deadlines to meet it can seem hard to allocate time for a hobby, but it’s easier than you think. If you really feel crunched for time maybe you can multitask. Put on your favorite songs while you’re cooking, sing along, dance a little. It will do wonders for your emotional well-being.
On weekends and days that you do have more time, try new things. Go to a yoga class, an art class, maybe join a sports team or a book club. Take at least an hour out of your day to just be happy and think of something other than work.
4. Identify Triggers
A crucial step to managing stress is figuring out what causes it. That way you can come out ahead and maybe avoid it altogether. For example; is it the deadline that is stressing you out, or the fact that you left it for the last minute? is it completing the task or the fact that you’re hesitant to ask for help?
A great way to get ahead of stress is to schedule your tasks. Set goals for yourself so that you’re not overwhelmed. Make sure that you get little breaks to breathe and clear your head. If something is not going the way you want or need it to, maybe talk it out with a coworker and brainstorm a little bit. Sometimes just doing that can relieve the pressure you’re placing on yourself and make the task seem more manageable.
Also, don’t let your work life consume you. Make sure to disconnect and live a life outside of work.
5. Take a break
Did you know that most Americans don’t take their paid vacation days off? Taking time off and away from work is incredibly important, not only to relieve stress but also to improve work productivity.
Take time off, spend it with family friends. The time you spend truly present and in the moment with your loved ones is valuable and incredibly revitalizing.
Spending time with yourself is also just as important. Take some me time, go get a massage, read a book, watch a show that makes you laugh, sleep in, meditate. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with yourself, relax, and have a good time.
How do you cope with stress? Are there any tricks that you’ve found help you in the workplace? Feel free to share them in the comment section below!