Unfortunately, stress is something you probably have in common with everyone in your life. Ask anyone in your office. No one likes it, but we all experience it. You may not even realize some of the physical and psychological effects stress can cause. OSHA documented that “stress has been associated with loss of appetite, ulcers, mental disorders, migraines, difficulty in sleeping, emotional instability, disruption of social and family life, and the increased use of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.” I know many people who use smoking as an excuse for stress. Managing your stress could mean producing better habits in your life and help you quit unhealthy habits like smoking.
Often times stress is caused by pressure at work, not enough time off, that never-ending deadline, or co-worker conflicts.
Instead of just avoiding it, how can we overcome it? Stress is inevitable, but if you learn how to manage it, it might be bearable.
Consider these 4 options:
- Relax Your Mind
Find your outlet. Is it writing? Talking to someone? Listening to music? These are all ways that can relax your mind and produce a healthy stress outlet. Take 15-20 minutes a day to do this and you could see a significant difference in the way you feel. Whether it’s before you go to work, on your lunch break or when you get home; try to find the time.
Another way to clear your mind is to meditate. If you have never done this before it might sound a little strange to you, but meditation focuses your attention on what’s happening in the present. It allows you to gather all of your thoughts and begin coping. WebMD says, “Meditation usually involves slow, regular breathing and sitting quietly for at least 15 to 20 minutes.”
Hopefully, exercise isn’t a bad word to you because it can be highly beneficial in more ways than one. Besides keeping your heart healthy, it can be a great stress reliever. Exercise either by yourself or with a buddy. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. Spending 30 minutes a day walking could be just what you need to relieve that pressure. There are great Exercise Apps to help! (There’s an app for that!)
It doesn’t have to be cardio-based. You can practice breathing, muscle relaxation, stretching, or even yoga. Typically when we’re stressed, our muscles tend to tense up, therefore progressive muscle relaxation techniques can combat those issues.
- Stay Organized
Some of us are natural organizers and some prefer organized chaos. Staying organized will help you in the long run at work. It increases productivity, boosts efficiencies, and promotes a positive work environment. If you are having a hard time staying organized, try asking others in the office how they do it. For me, I use a desktop app called Wunderlist. It’s great! It organizes my to-do list, allows me to set reminders, add notes, files, and sub-tasks. When your plate is full it can be hard to keep track of all that is assigned. Some prefer just writing their to-do list on a yellow pad. Find what works for you. Take the time to organize yourself and you will lower your stress level.
- Establish a Work-Life Balance
This is a tough one, but it can be done. Hopefully, you have a job that respects your time outside of the office. This is very important. Make sure you know what you are signing up for when accepting that job offer. Once you do, set boundaries. This could mean not checking your email after you get off or not answering work calls on the weekend. Most of us spend over 2,000 hours a year inside the office. Time off should be time off. Practicing that concept will mean less stress for you and more time to enjoy your life outside of the office.
Watch this video for an interesting perspective on work-life balance:
Do these 4 suggestions seem like something that could help you? Maybe take them on one at a time. Don’t feel like you have to do them all at once. As you start getting organized, you’ll find you have more time for things like exercise. All of these are choices you have to make. Stress can be a serious problem for you. Take the time to course-correct before it’s too late. Nova Medical Centers specializes in occupational health to make sure the patient is taken care of. Managing your stress can help you prevent injuries and stay healthy.
Written by: Shannon Oshman