Managing and reducing on-the-job stress isn't a one-size-fits-all deal. It's about finding what works for you. Here's how.
Welcome back to our conversation about the ever-so-persistent shadow of the working world – job stress.
If you've been following along, we've so far identified what stress is, how it affects us, and how to spot the culprits causing it. It feels a bit like we're on a stress treasure hunt, doesn't it? Seeking out strategies to manage and reduce stress.
Remember, stress management isn't a one-size-fits-all deal. It's about finding what works for you.
Our first practice is time management. Mastering this skill can feel like you've discovered the secret to bending time itself. Break down your tasks into manageable chunks, prioritize them based on importance and urgency, and don't forget to delegate where possible. A well-organized to-do list can be a mighty weapon against the chaos of stress.
Next, let's talk about relaxation techniques. These are like mini-vacations for your mind and can range from deep breathing exercises and yoga to progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation. Think of it as taking your mind to a spa.
For more ways to take better care of yourself at work, check out our Self-Care At Work tips.
Physical activity works for many people. Regular exercise has a multiplier effect on stress management. It can boost your mood, improve your sleep, and sharpen your focus. And it's good for your physical health too! You are dispersing the stress-related chemicals you’ve released into your body throughout the day. Whether you prefer a heart-pounding run, a soothing yoga session, or a dance-off in your living room, any movement is good movement.
And let's not forget about the power of positive social interactions. Connect with others, seek support when needed, and don't forget to laugh – it's nature's stress reliever! You don't need to spill out your stress tales to everyone, but having a support system, a 'stress squad' if you will, can make all the difference.
TIP: Here’s a great article on how laughter is beneficial to your health.
Lastly, don't underestimate the power of a good night's sleep. Lack of sleep can leave you vulnerable to stress, like an umbrella turned inside out at the first gust of wind. Try to create a sleep-friendly environment: cool, dark, quiet, and device-free. Calming scents, warm baths, or reading can also help send you off to dreamland.
We've covered some proven ways to reduce stress. But it’s important that you find your own. I have a client that walks every morning as the sun rises to create a clean slate for the day ahead, while another practices yoga in the late evening to dispel the day’s stress. Through trial and error, they have figured out what works for them.
Managing stress is an ongoing journey, not a destination. It's about incorporating stress-busting strategies into your life, one step at a time. To jump start your stress management, here is a pick list to choose from
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Join us in the next post where we'll talk about cultivating a stress-resilient workplace culture, and yes, that one's for you, bosses and managers!
In the meantime reach out if you find you’re having difficulty finding what works for you. It’s free and there are no obligations, just a helping hand.
Until then, keep practicing these techniques, and remember, every small step is a step away from chronic stress and burnout.