We’ve all been there: sometimes work can get you down. Huge deadlines with lots of road blocks along the way. Conflict among coworkers. Unrealistic expectations from managers. Whatever scenario you’re dealing with, when going to work is highly stressful, it can seep into all areas of your life. Here are seven tips for effective stress management that will help you take it all in stride:
Tried and true, exercise is a known stress buster for good reason. WebMD explains that when you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which trigger positive feelings in the body. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward off depression and have many other positive benefits. So, get your sweat on!
Focus on one thing at a time
When you have many demands and deadlines, it’s easy to become frazzled to the point that you have a hard time getting started on anything. Take a deep breath, look at the highest priority on your day’s to-do list and start there. Dedicate yourself to one task at a time and check each off your list as you complete it. You’ll feel calmer and more accomplished.
Do enjoyable things
A heavy workload has a way of overtaking your life and making you feel guilty about any time you spend outside the office. But leading a balanced life is important for a healthier well-being. Take at least a little time every day to unwind and do something you like, whether that’s reading or playing a game with your kids.
Identify the stress triggers
The Mayo Clinic says one of the best ways to cope with job stress is to identify the situations and events that heighten your stress level and brainstorm ways to change the circumstances that are causing them.
Take time off
Don’t let that vacation time pile up and go unused. Jetting off somewhere is wonderful if you can, but even staycations or personal days can help you regain balance in your life. Take a few days off to plant your garden or spend time with family. Make sure to enjoy off-the-grid time every day by putting your smartphone away and doing something to wind down.
Take care of you
Tired all the time? Having difficulty concentrating? Frequent headaches? Gaining (or losing) weight? Quit pushing your emotional and physical health aside. Allow time in your day to take care of the very basics: exercising, eating healthy meals and getting plenty of sleep.
It’s admirable that you continue to take on new tasks and projects because you want to prove yourself, but if your schedule is beginning to feel maxed out, take charge. Set reasonable expectations with colleagues for when you can complete work. Communicate openly to ensure you are capable of doing what you say you can. Look closely at your day’s schedule to uncover where you’re spending excessive time and start being more selective about agreeing to participate.
In most jobs, some amount of stress is to be expected. However, you don’t have to live in a constant state of pressure. When things get hectic, don’t let the stress build up. Take a step back, put a plan in motion to address each stressor and deal with things in a healthy way. The more skilled you become at stress management, the better equipped you will be to navigate the ups and downs of your career.