Stress less at work
Date Posted:2 August 2016
Stress is a part of the everyday, or so it seems. Stress makes me work faster – better – longer. Stress makes me feel alive!
All true, but too much stress can lead to major health issues or a number of small issues that, added together, can leave you drained and useless which is why stress management is taught alongside OH&S and stress leave is covered by sick days.
When you are feeling your stress has stopped motivating you to work and started motivating you to curl up under your desk and avoid all human-contact, it might be time to stress less, and here are 5 ways that might help:
Greeting your co-workers in the morning or taking a break during the day to catch up can ease stress not just for yourself but for everyone in the office. How often have you found yourself automatically tensing when walking into a silent occupied office? Break the ice, say hello, start a conversation.
Stop. Take a breath. Out. And another one. Out. Feel better? It is strange that one of the most fundamental elements to life can be ignored when you are stressed. You find yourself holding your breath or shallow breathing, starving your brain and exacerbating the situation when a deep lung-full or two could ease it all.
Have a drink
No – not alcohol – although you might be tempted! Drinking a glass of water or giving yourself a coffee break can ease stress considerably. Even if only to get you away from your desk (or some other source of stress) getting yourself a drink gives you something to concentrate on and distract for a moment, allowing you to breathe (see above.)
Giving yourself a routine has been proven to aide productivity but don’t forget to schedule in some breaks as well. If you are spending all day staring at a screen or sitting at a desk, getting up and looking away should already be part of your regular health plan but if it isn’t it should be – and for more than just your physical well-being. Even if you feel like you can’t leave your desk you can still take some time to read something interesting or look at cat pictures online, a brief respite that is taking away nothing as it was scheduled.
Pay attention to your body
Your posture can have a lot to do with your emotional well-being, not only potentially influencing your mood but also indicating a physical manifestation of how you are feeling. Slumping or slouching at your desk can push physical tension into your neck, a place where a lot of people store their stress tension. Conversely, stress can feel like a literal weight on your shoulders, causing you to slouch. Take some time to take stock of your body and your posture. Stretch your back and neck and maybe even your legs and you will notice a difference.