With the ever changing advancements in technology, we are constantly connected to our jobs; taking advantage of every opportunity in our day to squeeze in one more phone call, one more email, or one more text. The eight hour work day for most of us anymore is the exception, no longer the rule. Most Americans these days work more than 10 plus hours a day, with 8 out of 10 citing their jobs as a major source of stress in their lives.
While some stress is normal and considered good for nearly all of us(its serves as a good motivator to help us meet our goals), too much stress can be harmful, not only to one’s professional career, but to your personal wellbeing too. If ignored, chronic stress can become all consuming and lead to more significant problems with your physical and emotional health.
Our ability to manage stress is the key to our survival. Since everyone is different, the way stress affects us individually and the way we react to it differs from person to person. However, even with the differences in our personalities, emotional makeup and life experiences, stress seems to manifest itself in very similar ways. Here are some warning signs that can help identify when someone is overly stressed:
- Lack of Interest/Job Dissatisfaction
- Inability/Difficulty Concentrating
- Muscle Tension/Headaches
- Stomach Issues
- Sleep Disturbances
The first step to effectively managing one’s stress is to be willing to make a change in your daily routine. The good news is that these changes don’t have to be monumental, in fact, they can be quite small and still have an impact.
Here are 5 tips to help reduce stress levels at the office:
- Become More Organized. Making ‘To Do’ lists to prioritize your work load will help you concentrate on one task at a time. Also, keeping a clean and tidy desk will help eliminate a feeling of being overloaded with work.
- Know Your Limits. Don’t be afraid to ask a manager or co-worker to help if you are feeling overwhelmed. A byproduct of asking for help will lead to overall improved communication and foster a sense of teamwork in the office.
- Stay Positive. Steer clear of toxic co-workers and negativity in general. Positive attitudes are just as contagious as negative ones, but a whole lot more fun.
- Get Out. Use your lunch time to escape your desk or work environment. It’s a great opportunity to split up the workday and get outside for some fresh air.
- Just Relax. Introduce relaxation techniques into your daily schedule. Try practicing these periodically throughout your day to help alleviate stress:
- Breathe Deeply
- Rest Your Eyes
- Stretch at your Desk
- Take a Walk
- Listen to Music
- Laugh out Loud
- Talk to a friend
- Eat a Healthy Snack
By no means is this an all inclusive list. Through trial and error, you’ll find some tips will work better than others. It’s important to listen to your body and establish a routine that works best for you. The internet is a great resource for finding new and fun ways for keeping stress levels at bay.