10 May 10 ways to de-stress at work and enjoy your break
Reaching targets within a set deadline, attending conferences and meetings, making pitches and presentations, and dealing with your boss, are just a few of the many things that employees have to deal with on a regular basis.
Working a nine to five job, 5, sometimes even 6 days a week, is not as easy as it sounds. Besides, when employees get back home in the evening, they have truckloads of household responsibilities to deal with as well. If all this load is not dealt with and managed in a healthy manner, it is bound to lead to severe stress because of which you not only feel anxious but also lose efficiency at work which further affects work performance.
Stress, in simple terms, refers to a state of psychological or emotional toil or pressure which results from unfavourable or extremely challenging and demanding situations.
When we talk about work-related stress, it usually stems from issues like lack of autonomy, changes in organisational structure, role ambiguity and conflict, rotating shifts, working conditions, long work hours, work overload or underload, organisational leadership or even the personality of a person.
All of us have been here before at some point in our professional lives. Nevertheless, this stress we feel isn’t permanent. There are many ways out there that help rid us of our emotional toil and even help enhance our productivity at work. Dealing with stress and not just suppressing it will make you feel more enthusiastic about work, and will help you reach your highest potential as an employee.
Not sure how to do that just yet? Don’t worry!
Here we have 10 effective ways for you to deal with stress which will certainly help you take a breather, and enjoy your work instead of enduring it.
What’s more? We also have tips that help you use your work break more amusingly and efficiently!
10 Ways to De-Stress at Work
1. Start your Day Pleasantly and With a Boost
Tons of studies and research projects have shown that the way you start your day and the feelings and emotions you experience in the morning are what govern how the rest of your day will go.
For example, if your day starts with an argument with your spouse, it is natural for you to be irritated throughout the day and snap at the littlest of things.
Worry not for there are ways to have a great start to your day in order to avoid unpleasant outcomes. Give a jolt to your day by having healthy and filling breakfast replete with all the vitamins and proteins since this is what will influence your energy levels till lunch-break.
Have a great conversation or brainstorming session in the morning with your spouse or other family members, or just simply listen to peaceful music on your way to work in order to get those happy juices flowing through your body.
Lastly, try and leave at least half an hour early for work than you usually do. Many research projects and experimental studies have shown that when you leave your house with time to spare, you are much more peaceful and less anxious since you do not have to be worried about being late to work.
Feeling less rushed in the mornings will help you feel less stressed and anxious, and in turn give you more time and space for yourself.
2. Carry your Favourite Snacks
The vending machines in office cafeterias are filled with foods that are cheaper and good to taste, but contain a lot calories. Consuming a large number of calories will not only give rise to health problems, but also make the person eat beyond the physiological need to eat.
Instead of thoughtlessly chomping down whatever munchies are accessible, it is a much wiser choice to carry your favourite healthy snack to work. It could be anything, from dry fruits like cashews and almonds, to healthy yoga or protein bars to tetra-packs of juices or pretzels.
You could even bring your favourite cup of joe in a leak-proof container in order to get the boost you need. Carrying your flavoured tea bags to work is also a great option if you are someone who enjoys a cup of tea while working.
This is rather important since not eating anything for more than a few hours can cause the glucose levels of your body to drop, which will result in high levels of stress. Having your favourite healthy snacks at hand will help boost your energy levels and ace presentations and consecutive meetings.
3. Give Credit Where Credit is Due
Wondering what this means? It’s simple. Loosen up and give the person in the mirror some credit. Yes! You have worked hard enough to be where you are. It is very important for you to realise, recognize and appreciate your hard-work and efforts.
All of us are so caught up in our chaotic lifestyles that we forget to take a moment and appreciate ourselves. Irrespective of whether your achievements are big or small, it is important to learn to praise them.
So, the next time you get done with an interim or achieve a long-standing target, look in the mirror and tell yourself just how proud you are of all your efforts and what a great job you have done! This will not only boost your confidence, but also help you maintain your calm and composure, and keep you more relaxed when dealing with stress at work.
4. Administer your Email Inbox
Emails are the main mode of communication between an employee and his/her colleagues, organisation heads and other companies. It is no revelation that your inbox is probably brimming with emails.
Believe it or not, this causes stress. When you look at your overflowing inbox, it makes you worry about having to respond to so many people and construct so many messages. In order to evade any possibility of that happening, it is important that you declutter your inbox, delete emails which aren’t required, have a separate email for work purposes or unsubscribe from unnecessary newsletters, and star the important emails.
This will allow you to not miss out on any important emails and make your work easier and more hassle-free.
5. Maintain Good Relations at Work
It is very important be in engagement with your colleagues on an everyday basis because you spend most amount of your time at the office, with them. Making friends at work not only helps you divert your mind from the anxiety and stress that you feel, but also makes work more fun.
Catching up with your work mates for a few minutes and chatting about something fun instead of talking about work-related issues will give you a breather and help you build strong relationships at work.
It also a good idea to reach out to your colleagues about the stress you experience because they will be the ones who will actually understand what you are going through.
6. Stretch it Out
This is crucial if you have a job that leaves you deskbound. Sitting at your desk all day will inevitably stress your muscles and it is important to give them a good old stretch to make it more comfortable for you.
Stand up and stretch out your legs for around 20 to 30 seconds or take a short walk around the block. This will help lessen the peril of blood clots that can result from sitting in one position for a prolonged period of time.
You can also try neck, shoulder, wrist and ankle rotations along with torso twists which further help release muscle stress and stiffness.
7. Organise your Work Space
Your parents were right when they said that a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. Your cabin space can have a major influence on your attitude while also throwing light at your personality. Hence, it is important that your desk area is neat, and suits your style well.
Getting in at work and being seated at a shabby desk will result in you being super confused about where certain important documents and files are, which further creates stress.
This makes it all the more imperative for you to spruce your space up and organise your desk accordingly. Having motivational quotes, positive affirmations or pictures of your family, friends or pets will help you lessen your stress since it will invoke positive emotions within you. Also, a well-organised desk will prevent you from misplacing things and will thus reduce confusion.
8. Have a Worry Journal
It natural for your thoughts to cycle back to your anxieties and stresses every now and then. Sometimes mere distractions aren’t enough and you have to sit back and face those stressors head on.
Creating a list of your worries in a journal will help you get a clearer picture of what you are stressing over, and will further help you jot down effective ways and means through which you can deal with those issues. This will pave a path of peace for you because now you know what’s causing all the stress.
Doing this will make you realise that more often than not, the problem is not as big as we make it out to be.
This may be the oldest trick in the book, but it is still just as effective. If you actually take notice of your body when you are feeling stressed, you will observe that your breathing becomes rapid.
Thus, regulating your breath at times of stress will help you gather your thoughts together and maintain your composure while dealing with the stressor.
It’s as simple as inhaling and exhaling deeply, getting as much oxygen as you can, and letting out as much carbon dioxide. Just 10 deep breaths and you are good to go!
10. Plan Ahead
Making to-do lists and planning your day ahead helps you become more organised in your approach to dealing with stress.
Make a list the night before and put down everything you have to accomplish the next day in order of importance. Start with the most important and toughest ones in the beginning because a fresh mind is required for those and strike off tasks as and when you complete them.
This way, you will not stress about forgetting things and you may even get time to spare for yourself. Not to mention, striking off completed tasks is extremely gratifying.
Tips to Enjoy Breaks at Work
If you’re an employee with long working hours, you know just how much you await those lunch breaks so you could get some time off your desk. This makes it all the more important for you to use your work break efficiently. Here are some tips that will help you to do that!
1. Listen to Music
Listening to music is one of the best proven ways to soothe your mind and just take a breather. So, plug in your earphones and just listen to piano instrumentals like Ludovico Einaudi or any other genre that gets your happy juices flowing. Close your eyes and envision where you want to be in life and all you want to manifest into reality.
2. Give Yourself a Quick Massage
Use your work-breaks to give yourself a quick massage. All you have to do is warm your fingers by rubbing them together and massage the middle of the upper third area of your ears as this helps release tension. Rubbing your shoulders or massaging your wrists and neck will help release muscle tension or clots, and help you become more focused.
3. Productivity for the Mind
Checking your social media during breaks isn’t exactly the most productive thing to do. In order to boost your mind power, you can do something productive yet enjoyable. For example, you could watch a TED talk of your favourite public figure, solve puzzles or play sudoku, read an article on an interesting topic, or anything else that helps you enhance your brainpower.
4. Spend Time with Others
Grabbing a bite with a friend or even video-calling and having a conversation helps refresh your senses. You can also use this time to socialise with your work mates which will go a long way in making you a much better team member with enhanced interpersonal skills.
5. Enjoy your Meals
Sometimes, just having lunch and enjoying your meal is what you require to feel great. Incorporate things that you love eating in your diet, but make sure they also fit your dietary requirements. If your favourite food chain is somewhere around the corner, go ahead and grab a bite there at least once every week. This will not only make lunch breaks far more enjoyable, but will also help maintain a steady, healthy diet.
It is very important for employees to invigorate their senses by taking out some time for themselves in order to take a breather. Monotony is one of the major causes of stress and tension. Hence, switching up ways to spend your break time is of paramount importance.
Furthermore, using these tips to deal with stress will augment your skills as an employee and help you be more at peace with yourself. This will further improve your work-performance.
So loosen up and remember that you got this!