Stress at work is inevitable. It doesn’t matter if you’re working from home or in an office; stress will be there waiting at the door.
While stress is a normal part of life, too much of it can have health consequences.
Some manifestations of stress include frequent headaches, colds and flu. When stress becomes unmanageable, potentially serious medical conditions could arise. These include hypertension, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disease, anxiety, insomnia and so on.
But even when there’s no escaping stress at work – even in a job you love – there are things you can do to manage it and keep it to a minimum.
Mornings are usually hectic. If you have kids, there’s the rush to prepare breakfast and get the kids ready for school. You grab a bite of toast and gulp down your coffee. On your way to work, you could be stuck in traffic or need to brave the commute. And when you’re always in a hurry, you’re already setting yourself up for a stressful day.
The key here is planning. Start your day with the intent of waking up early enough to have time to breathe and enjoy the silence of the morning, however briefly. You’ll also be able to prepare and enjoy a nutritious breakfast and go to work relaxed and ready to face the day.
After you finish a particularly time-consuming and complicated report, meeting with your boss, or a successful though long-drawn-out property sale, relax. Give yourself time to rest and recharge, even for just a few minutes.
You can watch a funny YouTube video, listen to some music, read a few pages out of your favourite book or go to the office rooftop or balcony and take relaxing, deep breaths.
When you leave the office, avoid checking your work emails. If you can, stay away from any digital screens when you’re supposed to be off work. Give yourself opportunities to disconnect from work, and reconnect with yourself and the world outside of work. This way, you’ll feel energised to return to the office the next day.
Spending so many hours sitting at a desk is unhealthy enough. It also adds to physical stress.
By spending a few minutes walking around your office block before or after lunch, you’ll be sneaking in a bit of exercise. Another option would be taking the stairs instead of the lift. By walking or taking the stairs, you’re able to release some of the stress you’re feeling and improve your mood, too.
The stress you experience at work may stem from poor time management or inadequate planning. To overcome this, use a desk calendar instead of relying on your phone for reminders or digital calendar alerts.
It’s usually easier to visualise your day, week or month if you have a daily visual reminder of what your priorities should be. These should include urgent projects with deadlines, meetings, routine tasks and small blocks of time for rest. By staying on top of your priority list, you can start and end each day right and have enough time for personal activities. You’ll also find it easier to avoid procrastination.
Work is important; however, your life should not revolve around it. Else, you risk getting burned out. You’ll also be hurting your personal relationships if work takes precedence above all else.
Therefore, no matter how driven you are, make time for home, family, friends and things that make you happy.
There are other things you can do to minimise stress. But by starting with these five, you’re already on your way to enjoying work and living a full, happy life.
(c) Copyright 2021 The Milestone Academy
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