Our jobs can be demanding so it is important to take steps to reduce stress levels while working. There are lots of small changes one can make throughout the day to de-stress. In recognition of National Stress Awareness Day (April 16, 2016) try these three easy ways to help you de-stress while at work.
1) Take Breaks
Work is a place of doing. Meetings, phone calls, and deadlines dominate the work day. This can leave you mentally exhausted and stressed. Therefore, it is important to schedule time to de-stress. Don’t just say you’ll take a break, actually schedule it into your calendar. Whether it’s an hour lunch break or mini breaks throughout the day, set time aside for a much needed break.
During your break do things that will calm your brain. Take a short walk outside on a sunny day to give your body vitamin D. Can’t get outside? Stand up and do stretches at your desk. But most importantly, be sure your break is actually a break. Use the time wisely and avoid activities that increase stress, like talking to a colleague about how stressful your job is.
2) Create a Calming Desk
We spend a majority of time sitting at our desks, so make sure your work environment is ergonomically friendly. What you surround yourself with while at work can have a large effect on your mood. If your desk is cluttered, dirty and void of personal items it can drastically impact your stress level.
If you don’t already have one, get a plant for your office or desk. Studies have linked the reduction of stress to plants, here are the 10 best plants to help de-stress your work environment. Surrounding yourself with personal items like photos and trinkets can also help calm your mind. Just be careful you don’t have so many personal items that your work space becomes cluttered or distracting.
3) Stop Rushing
Most people spend their days rushing. We rush to work, to answer calls, get to meetings, hand in projects, get home, make dinner etc. This constant pressure to get things done only contributes to high stress levels. There are many things you can do to minimize the need to rush.
Try leaving for work 30 minutes earlier. This way you’ll be less stressed about getting to work on time. You’ll arrive on-time or early, even if you do hit traffic. When scheduling meetings and calls leave yourself at least 30 minutes between each, this way you’ll avoid feeling anxiety when a meeting or call runs long. And with modern communication tools you can stay more productive regardless of where you’re working from, whether it be in the office, from home, or anywhere in between!
What methods do you use to help reduce your stress levels throughout the day? Tell us in the comments below!
Originally published Apr 16, 2015, updated Aug 12, 2020