Stress is becoming more and more prevalent in the workplace, especially in light of changes in the world economy and individual fears regarding job security. If you feel stress creeping up on you at work (or if you see one of your employees succumbing to heavy stress) you’ll want to take immediate action to help alleviate some of the pressure. Here are 5 simple things you can do to help relieve stress in the workplace.
There’s no harm in taking a few minutes out of your day for a bit of humour. Tell a few jokes, forward a funny email, or sing a silly song. Do anything that will take your mind off of the things causing stress, even for just a few moments. Sometimes laughter helps to clear the head and make productive thinking easier.
Sometimes stress is caused by a lack of movement. If you feel incredibly stressed, put on your coat and take a quick walk around the outside of your work building. Use a quick pace and, as silly as it sounds, talk to yourself while you are walking. The physical activity will get your blood pumping and help to reenergize you while talking to yourself (even to reiterate “xyz is taking a walk” will help you to put yourself in the “now” and forget about the things on your desk.
Dehydration is one of the hugest health concerns in the world- anywhere. Most people don’t understand how important water is to the body and if you become dehydrated you will begin to have trouble functioning, both physically and mentally. Most people reach for coffee, cola, or energy drinks when they should, in reality, drink water. Stick to 4-8 glasses of water per day and you’ll find your levels of stress significantly lowering themselves.
Alright – taking a nap while working may not be easy but it IS possible. If you have a stressful morning then go to your car during your lunch break, turn on the radio, and take a quick catnap. If you’re a heavy sleeper and are afraid you’ll fall asleep and not wake up in time, tell a coworker where you are going so they can come and get you a few minutes before you’re scheduled to return. No matter how you pull it off, know that a good 15-30 minute catnap is great for relieving stress.
Yup. I said it. Have yourself a good cry. Crying is, in many cases, a natural response to a rising level of adrenaline in the body (often caused by stress) and is nothing to be ashamed of. Focusing your energies on holding back the tears isn’t productive so go to a quiet place, hidden from others, and let the tears flow. You’ll probably feel a lot better when you’re finished!
Stress management in the workplace is incredibly important not only to your mental healh but to the overall productivity of your team. Take care of yourself and those around you and you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by a happier, more productive group.
Looking for more tips on reducing stress at work? Try this article:
Originally published: 4 November, 2009
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