20 Jun 5 Tips to Alleviate Workday Stress
It’s easy to get wrapped up in work and forget to take time for yourself during the day. One skipped lunch turns into 2, then 3, and next thing you know you are permanently glued to your desk the entire day. Sure, you could get a lot of work done during that time. In the beginning at least, but that type of productivity isn’t sustainable and could eventually lead to stress and burnout.
It’s important to consciously make an effort to clear your mind during the workday. Give yourself breaks to look forward to that allow you to recharge for the rest of the day. Doing what you can to alleviate stress from your day will lead to a more sustainable level of productivity. Not to mention, create a more enjoyable work environment for yourself.
Here are some of our favorite tips to stay stress-free at work to get you going. Don’t be afraid to get creative and tailor your stress relieving methods to meet your own needs.
5 Tips to Alleviate Workday Stress
1. Go for a walk
Got a 15-minute break or 30-minute lunch break? Get out and get some fresh air. The studies we repeatedly read about people who exercise being more confident, alert, and energetic are not exclusive to athletes or gym rats. Sedentary individuals who get out and walk regularly can reap the exact same benefits.
A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports discovered that people who walk 3 times a day for 30 minutes felt a lot better about their workload. Participants claim to feel less tense and more enthusiastic and relaxed after a lunchtime walk.
Before you get started on an intensive task or start to feel yourself catching a wave of emotion, take a quick walk, clear your head, and come back refreshed.
2. Eat lunch away from your desk
Lunchtime is another great opportunity to get away from your screen. It is way too easy to eat lunch at your desk and spend your time responding to emails or jumping ahead to your next task. You also run the risk of being interrupted by fellow coworkers who are not on their lunch break and we all know it is hard to say “no” when you are sitting at your desk anyway.
Honor your lunch break and escape for a bit. Even if it just to the break room or cafeteria. It can still make a world of difference and set the tone for the rest of your day. You can derive a lot of energy from making personal connections with your coworkers. If you are more of an introvert, try reading a book or listening to a podcast.
3. Get your workout in
Does your company offer an extended lunch break? All you need is an hour to get in an effective workout even if you don’t have the luxury of an onsite gym. Check to see if your preferred gym has a location near your office or consider choosing a gym in close proximity to your office when shopping for memberships. This includes yoga studios, spin studios, rock gyms, pools, anything that fits your workout style. An hour is plenty of time to get your heart elevated, feel those endorphins and freshen up after.
Meditation is easy to fit into your day and extremely beneficial. Many studies have been done showing meditation improves focus and memory. This is because you are training your mind to stay present and let all the noise and clutter around you pass by without attachment. Have you ever found yourself in a meeting and leave feeling like you heard absolutely nothing because your mind was somewhere else? Meditation is great for that. You can quickly refocus your mind before a meeting or anytime you feel yourself drifting. All you need is a quiet space and a few minutes.
If you are new to meditation there are tons of great youtube videos and apps with guided meditations to get you started. Headspace is a great place to start. The free guided meditations are 10 minutes long and can be done right from your phone. They also include educational anecdotes about meditation to help you grasp the concept further.
If meditation isn’t quite your style, breathing exercises can have similar effects. Again, all you need is a quiet space for a few minutes to listen and focus on your breath. Focusing on your breath forces you to stay in the present moment similar to meditation. The point of it all is to give your mind a break from the marathon it is running all day long.
Midday breaks are a prime time to reflect on your day. Jot down how you felt about the first half of your day, what has been on your mind, or what you have accomplished. Taking a minute to reflect on your day makes it much more possible to turn a bad day around. Or maybe you were thinking too far ahead all day to realize how much you had actually accomplished. Writing things down can help you slow down and recognize what you were too busy to think about previously.
Journaling, in general, has many mental health benefits that can positively affect both your personal and work life. Some of these benefits include reduced stress, a sharper memory, and an elevated mood. This doesn’t have to be “Dear, Diary” stuff either. Make it your own, forget about spelling and grammar, and just write your unfiltered feelings. Bullet journaling is a cool method that can easily be done throughout the day by jotting quick notes instead of writing a full-blown journal entry.