If replying to one more work email, or answering one more phone call from a client feels like it will be your undoing then you are probably suffering from work related stress and anxiety. We’ve all been there. Work is not easy, and it’s hard to juggle multiple tasks, smile at your boss, and keep clients happy day after day.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed at work, try these tricks to de-stress!
1. Arrive Early
This isn’t possible for everyone due to schedules or maybe you don’t have access to your office until opening time, but if you can arrive early you will give yourself a chance to have a headstart on your day. Instead of walking in just in time to grab your ringing phone, be there, coffee in hand, prepared when the first person or task needs your attention. You’ll be surprised by how calming it is to have this tiny bit of control over your day instead of letting your day control you!
2. Be Organized
It’s true that some people have their own way of operating with “organized chaos”, but it isn’t ideal. Here’s why: Maybe you are accustomed to searching for an ink pen every time you need to take a quick note, and “that’s just the way you do it”, but did you ever consider how much stress just searching for a pen all day can cause you? This is a small example, but it applies to everything. Think about written quotes, files on your computer, even paperclips. Spending your day searching for these things is adding unnecessary stress. Start small (with the ink pen, for example), and designate places for items. Practice being mindful of putting these items where they belong each time you use them. Soon it will become a habit, and your stress of sifting through the clutter will be relieved tremendously!
This step is kin to being organized, except instead of focusing on designating a home for all of your items, you will get rid of the items you don’t need! The note to “Call Jack ASAP” that you took care of two months ago: trash it. The application that was reviewed last week: file it. Broken rubberbands, highlighters that don’t work, items you don’t use? Get rid of them! This way you are not forced to find places for your items while continuously pushing around unnecessary clutter.
4. Buy a Comfortable Chair
Sitting in a chair that hurts your back or bum because it has zero back support and no arm rests (or maybe you prefer no arm rests!), can make your stress level go up, up, up! Your body responds to pain and discomfort with a stress response. Over time, triggering your body’s stress response all day, day in and day out can lead to a multitude of problems for you. (Read more about the Stress Response here) So, shop around and find a chair that feels great when you sit down!
Cousins offers a huge variety of office chairs that you can see here!
5. Stand Up
It’s difficult to calm down about a problem when the problem is still sitting there on your desk, staring you in the face, demanding your attention. Move away from the tasks at hand for a few moments, or take a short walk outdoors on your lunch break. This is a great way to regroup and reset!
A lot can be said about meditation, and breathing techniques for stress. We’ve all heard about them, but have you tried them? (Learn about some easy breathing techniques here) A few minutes of deep breathing can relax your body’s stress response and clear your mind. So push your chair away from your desk, close your eyes, and take a few moments just to let yourself breathe. It’s amazing what a little oxygen will do for your mood!
7. Take a Day Off
Sometimes all we need to de-stress is a day away from the office completely. For work-a-holics this is no easy task, but it can be very therapeutic to step away, unplug and relax. Go watch a baseball game, catch a movie with a friend or just stay at home and read your favorite book. The office will not implode without you, and you will be a much happier employee (or boss) after taking a break to enjoy a day away from the buzzing of computers, smart phones and co-workers.