“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” — Simon Sinek
- Listen to music. You may not be able to stream music through your computer speakers if you work in a cubicle or open concept office, but a set of headphones (if your workplace allows it) set to soothing jazz or even environmental sounds (ocean waves) can do wonders in drowning out any office drama that is making your blood boil!
- Call a friend. When you take a work break, go to your car or take a walk with your cell phone and vent with a friend. A friendly, reassuring voice (even if it is just for a minute or two) can sometimes help put things in perspective.
- Go easy on coffee. You may be tempted to have more than a cup of your morning joe if work stress is making you exhausted. But too much caffeine can make you even more jittery and anxious. Try switching to calming herbal teas instead (chamomile is particularly soothing).
- Breathe. It may seem simple, even a cliché, to suggest that taking a deep breath helps with stress. But it does! Many meditation practices begin with paying attention to the breath while you sit quietly. If you are feeling your stress level rise at work, take 3-5 minute break to breathe, since stress will cause shallow breathing (which exacerbates stress). To do this exercise, sit up straight with both feet flat on the floor. Breathe in slowly; fill up your lungs completely for each in-breath, and slowly let the breath out. These deep breaths gives your blood oxygen, helps clear your mind and calms your body. Try it!
- Eat right and exercise. When we are under a lot of stress and pressure at work, we tend to neglect ourselves. That may mean working through lunch, staying glued to our chairs all day long (and not getting up to stretch or walk around). When you are feeling under the gun to get work done, it is easy to justify not taking the time to eat healthy foods or taking a walk or going to the gym. But did you know that skipping out on healthy food and exercise will make you MORE stressed? So take time, and put your health first!
How do you manage stress at work? Would you like help creating a healthier workplace for yourself and others? Contact the organizational champion experts.