The pressures of work can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially during busy periods or when your company is going through a period of uncertainty that is outside your control. Sometimes this stress is manageable, and if you can take on a little extra work for a week to catch up then it will not affect you in the longer term. However, if you are feeling stressed for an elongated period, this can lead to you becoming ill. Here are five tips for handling stress at work.
Learn to Say No
Do you find yourself taking on whatever jobs you are given when those around you don’t seem to be pulling their weight? It could be that you are saying yes to too much. If you never turn down a task or attempt to delegate, this can lead to you always being the go-to person for jobs nobody else wants to do. You will soon become overloaded and stressed. If you find yourself always being the one who has to stay late when everyone else has gone home for the day, it might be time to learn the art of saying no.
Write a list of everything you have to do that day and everything you would like to get done. Prioritize your ‘must do’ list and ignore your ‘like to do list’ until you have completed it. Once you have managed the first list you can start working on the second. You could be surprised at how much you can achieve if you get organized and prioritize your workload rather than trying to do everything at once.
Celebrate Your Success
You don’t have to throw a party every time you get to the end of your ‘must do’ list but you should reward your personal victories as this will help you to stay focused and enjoy your job without getting too stressed. Look for both physical and mental health deals and you can reward yourself for a job well done with something to help you relax and unwind before you move on to the next task.
It can be difficult to switch off in the digital age as there are always emails you could be responding to or work that can easily be taken home. However, not giving yourself enough downtime can add to your stress as you never get away from work. Try to concentrate on other things such as family or hobbies while you are not on work time by shutting down your laptop and switching your phone off. Make time to take a lunch break while you are at work and go for a walk – the exercise will help you to unwind, and you will go back to the office with a clearer head.
Make Good Food Choices
It can be easy to grab a takeout on the way home after a long, hard day or eat an all-chocolate lunch at your desk because you don’t have time to make it further than the vending machine. However, this will not help you in the long term as saturated fat and sugar will make your blood sugar levels rise dramatically and then fall quickly leaving you feeling tired, irritable, and even more stressed. Eat brain food such as pulses, fish and fruit during your working day and you will find that you are less hungry and tired and more able to concentrate on work. This will leave you feeling less stressed and help your waistline too.
Try these techniques to help you handle work stress, stay on top of your job, and live a more healthy, stress-free life.