Do you frequently find yourself lying awake at night, trying to cope with all the stressful events of the day?
Unfortunately, this issue has become somewhat commonplace in today’s hectic world. And the raging pandemic doesn’t help either.
But, there’s one particular kind of stress that plagues people the most – work-related stress.
Stats say that 79% of UK adults experience it regularly.
While it’s completely normal to feel a bit stressed from time to time, being constantly exposed to pressure at work can have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health. To prevent depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease, it’s essential to find a way to decompress and relax.
Here are some tips to help you reduce and deal with stress at work.
1. Practice Breathing Exercises
Let’s expand on that useful “take a deep breath” all of us get when we’re tense or stressed out.
Due to its simplicity, breathing is a frequently overlooked stress management tool, although it will both:
- help you ground your racing mind, and
- increase blood oxygen levels.
What’s even better, you can resort to this effective solution even when you’re at work.
Prepare by getting into a comfortable position and closing your eyes.
Then focus on your breathing. Don’t try to change anything just yet. The point is in noticing whether you’re taking shallow or deep breaths. Are you breathing slowly or quickly?
When you become aware of your breathing pattern, you can slow it down and start taking deeper breaths.
Counting will allow you to pace your breathing, but it also doubles as a meditation exercise. The 4-7-8 breathing is great for controlling your breath and train of thought.
Put the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth and keep it there for the rest of the exercise. Exhale completely through the mouth while making a whoosh sound.
Close your mouth and inhale through your nose as you count to four. Then hold your breath as you count to seven. Finally, exhale through your mouth for a count of eight.
Start with four cycles, increase to eight cycles in a row when you get used to the exercise.
2. Outsource Everything You Can
If you’re a business owner or a manager, there’s usually a lot on your plate to deal with.
But, it’s crucial to understand that you can’t do it all and that wearing different hats will eventually take a toll on your productivity, motivation, and health.
That’s why you should learn to prioritize.
Delegating and outsourcing some of your tasks will take the stress out of your work and life. Besides, you’ll have more time to concentrate on your core activities.
For example, keeping your books in order is a task that you’d better leave to professionals. That way, you’ll free up a lot of time for actually growing your business and ensure that your taxes are filed properly and timely.
Other tasks you can outsource include marketing, customer support, administration, and HR.
3. Set Clear Boundaries
Technology does make our lives easier, but it comes with some downsides.
It’s easy to be under a great deal of pressure to respond to every email or every Slack message, even when you’re not at work. Such behavior can lead to blending your private and professional life. As a result, it’s easy to feel as if you have to be available at all times, and that’s the road to stress and ultimately burnout.
Putting your smartphone in the do-not-disturb mode and setting some rules when it comes to checking your email can help you relieve work-related stress.
Similarly, learning to say no at work will contribute to restoring balance in your life. The trick is in being polite and providing the person making a request with the context by letting them know more about your workload.
Be polite but firm, and make sure your co-worker, manager, or client doesn’t feel bad about asking for help.
4. Eat, Sleep, Rest, Repeat
Junk food is tasty, and many people succumb to emotional eating when they’re stressed. Polishing off a burger with chips or snacking on cookies, candy, and other comfort food occasionally isn’t something that will affect your overall health.
But, if you make it a habit out of it, your body will suffer, and stress won’t go away. Quite the opposite – unhealthy foods will only make things worse.
Stick to a low-sugar, high-protein diet as that’s the best way to fuel your body. Always have some fruit around and never miss your breakfast. Lunch can consist of some lean meat and a salad. Dinner is optional, but make sure you don’t eat too much in the evening as this habit can disrupt your sleep pattern.
Energy drinks and coffee elevate the levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Instead of that, keep yourself hydrated with water and green tea.
Finally, lack of sleep won’t only make you cranky and tired. If you don’t get enough shut-eye, your ability to cope with stress will be significantly diminished. The thing is that sleep deprivation affects your immune system and mental wellbeing.
In short, if you don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep every night, your body and mind will have a difficult time coping with all the stress and anxiety.
5. Talk to a Friend
When you’ve had enough during a particularly turbulent day, give a friend a call.
Sometimes you need a pep talk, some reassurance, and advice.
A conversation with someone you trust will not only help you vent and let off steam but also collect and organize your thoughts.
But, you don’t even have to talk about what’s causing you stress. A casual chat or planning a night out will give you something to look forward to and help you shift to a positive mindset.
That’s the reason why having a best friend at work matters so much. So, try to build meaningful relationships with your co-workers as it’s critical for fostering a positive work environment.
Stress has always been a regular part of our day-to-day work life. But these simple tips can help you reduce your stress and keep it at a healthy level.
Check out our estate planning tips as well.