By its very nature, our work naturally causes us stress, whether in isolated minutes or hours, every job has its moments. There may be the pressures of deadlines, or of meeting goals that are challenging, there may be difficult clients that you have to deal with, or even other team members, which create some stress in the short term.
It’s when you are exposed to work-related stress day in, day out without respite, that it can start to take a toll on your physical and mental health. As we mark World Health Day, we wanted to acknowledge that mental health is just as important as physical health, and that we can have a lot more control over it.
If you’re looking to lower your stress, check out our four top tips below:
- Track the things that stress you
To work out where you need to focus, start taking notes of the things that stress you at work, over the course of at least a week. Whether it’s too much workload, a lack of control over decisions related to your job, or a lack of support from your colleagues or family, make a note of them. Note down how you feel about your environment at work. If there are specific situations that stress you out, describe them. Note how you respond to the situation. Do you take a snack or smoke? Or do you prefer to walk? Observing these things will give you a better idea of what you are dealing with.
- Go easy on yourself
We are often our own worst enemy. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself in terms of goals, deadlines and achievements. Be realistic and manage your expectations carefully to prevent frustration and stressful situations.
At work, be honest with what you can achieve and make sure you communicate clearly with those around you, especially in terms of deadlines and deliverables. The problems generally come from misaligned expectations and miscommunications around delivery. If you need support, don’t be afraid to get it, you’re not cheating anyone by delegating.
- Limit distractions
Manage your time effectively and keep your productivity and focus high by making sure you are not distracted by your phone or other devices when you are working. Set time aside for checking your emails, responding to calls or scrolling through Facebook during the working day. Try not to be connected 24/7, don’t take your phone to the dinner table and try to give yourself an hour without any devices before bed. These boundaries will give you some work-life balance as well.
- Recharge yourself when you can
Think about making conscious choices about how you respond to stress at work. One of the healthiest ways to destress is to exercise, whether it’s yoga, tennis, jogging or a walk, any kind of exercise is good. Go for a walk whenever you get the chance at work, especially while the weather allows it – get outside in your lunch break today!
Aside from exercise, you need downtime too. Make sure you don’t neglect that work-life balance, and that you make some time for your family and friends, indulge in a hobby, read a book you enjoy – anything that gives you pleasure will rejuvenate you. Make the most of your holidays, and try to keep your smartphone off, at least for certain periods of the day when you’re off.
All of these steps should help you manage your stress better. If you need extra support to take the pressure off, think about working with a personal assistant – we may be biased but we can guarantee that the extra pair of hands helping with work and life admin can make a huge difference to your stress levels. Contact us to find out how we can help.