Most professionals will tell you that their jobs are stressful. People are feeling overworked, frazzled, and stressed to the max. It can leave you tired, unable to sleep, and suffering from conditions like high blood pressure. How can you fight stress in your professional life?
Start the Day Right
It seems cliche, but it’s true! Think about your morning routine for a minute. Do you hit the snooze button several times, rush out the door with coffee and no breakfast, combat road rage and tons of traffic, and then arrive at work with no time to spare?
If your morning routine is stressful before you even arrive at the office, how can you expect to not be stressed while at work? It can make a huge difference in your work day to start the day with a better morning routine.
If you don’t have a lot of time, it can be helpful to lay out your work clothes the night before. Try prepping “grab and go” breakfast foods on Sunday evening before the work week starts. If possible, try to leave for work a few minutes earlier, so that you won’t be so stressed when you get stuck in traffic. Whatever you do, don’t hit that snooze button!
While at work, you’re likely getting interrupted several times a day. When you’re trying to concentrate, this can distract you, and you may find yourself spending more time getting back on track than actually getting things done. It may not always be possible to eliminate interruptions, but you can try to control them with a few simple gestures to let those around you know that they shouldn’t bother you if it isn’t necessary.
Set up office hours specifically for talking in person, close your office door when you need to focus, and don’t respond to non-urgent emails or texts when you’re in the middle of something important.
Nothing will stress you out more than a desk (or entire office) that looks like a hurricane hit it. Visually, a cluttered desk is going to be distracting and can make you feel anxious. Disorganization can also make it harder for you to work efficiently and can cut into your productivity.
Staying organized can also save you time if you need to be able to find things throughout the day, such as files, important documents, or even office supplies.
Take a Break
It’s easy to get caught up in work and keep pushing through it until the end of the day. If you find yourself slammed with tasks, it can seem like a good idea to work through your lunch break to make sure you get enough done. Instead, you should schedule breaks for yourself throughout the day. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a long break.
It could just be a scheduled time to stand up and stretch your legs, take a walk down the hall to grab a snack, or just sit and do a breathing exercise. You should also still take the time to walk away from your desk for lunch. It’s important to refuel your energy, and also give your brain a break for a little while. Without letting yourself rest, your productivity will suffer and your stress levels will increase.
Focus on Focusing
Multitasking sounds like a fantastic way to maximize your time and get more things done, but in reality, it probably doesn’t. Instead of focusing on one task at a time, you’re splitting your attention between many all at once, and your speed and accuracy are likely to suffer big time.
Instead, try focusing on the task at hand, and doing one important thing at a time. You’ll probably find yourself way more efficient this way, and it’ll make you feel less frazzled.
Eat Healthy and Get Enough Rest
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying junk food or staying out late to see a concert you’re excited about! However, if you constantly eat poorly, or if you consistently stay up too late and don’t get enough sleep, you’re setting yourself up for a stressful workday.
Our health directly affects our moods. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it can make you stressed, irritable, fatigued, or anxious, making it hard to concentrate, and even contributing to physical symptoms like stomach aches, muscle tension, or headaches.