Work stress can be a pain, especially when you are minding your own business at home, on holiday, or trying to fall asleep. It can sap the joy from your time away from work and can significantly impact the quality of your life. Whilst work stress can wreak havoc on your life, there are some easy steps you can follow to help manage and reduce that work stress.
#1: Get Moving
Exercise may be the last thing on your mind after a long day at work but getting your body moving can have multiple benefits to your health. Exercise, specifically aerobic exercise can modify multiple hormones in your body that can regulate stress. Aerobic exercise reduces the levels of adrenaline and cortisol in your body and stimulates the production of endorphins in your body. Endorphins are essentially happy hormones that help to elevate your mood, promote relaxation and improve optimism.
Another pro of exercise is that it generally gets you outside, soaking up vitamin D that can reduce depression and anxiety and elevate your mood.
#2: Get your zen on
Meditation is a set of techniques that encourage an enhanced awareness and generally involves focusing your attention on one specific thing such as breathing or a mantra whilst tuning out everything else around you. Whilst meditation can be done for a long period of time, you can reap the benefits of meditation with as little as 5 minutes of meditation.
Not only does it help you find your inner bliss and enhance relaxation but it can also:
- Improve creativity, helping you come up with out-of-the-box ideas to solve work crises
- Improve your focus at work, thus increasing your productivity
- Strengthen work and personal relationships
- Improving mood
- Reducing stress and conditions related to stress such as high blood pressure
Meditation doesn’t just have to be reserved for after-hours when you can don your yoga pants and sit in a lotus position on your yoga mat. It can be done, anywhere even at work during your lunch break, and can involve you sitting in your office following a guided meditation.
In fact, if you are experiencing stress during your working hours, meditation may help to improve the stress whilst you are experiencing it and can reduce the stress felt at home.
Sleep may sound counteractive to stress, if you’re stressed you would rather work to reduce stress right? Not exactly. Having a regular sleep schedule has been proven to help combat stress by improving focus, concentration, decision making, and mood and increasing energy levels helping you to work effectively and efficiently the next day.
Sleep also can help to regulate the stress hormone cortisol, a lack of sleep has been shown to increase cortisol levels thereby increasing the amount of stress your body is exposed to. By having adequate sleep, your cortisol level can be regulated and the amount of stress your body is exposed to can be regulated.
So how much sleep should one have? For adults, it’s recommended that you get an average of between 7-9 hours per night for optimal performance.
#4: Support your body with adequate nutrition
Work stress can affect nutrition either by the belief that there is not enough time to eat or through emotional eating. Either way, stress affects your intake and the nutrients you consume. Nutrition is important not just because it gives us energy but because nutrition supplies your body with nutrients which include vitamins and minerals. These nutrients play important roles in your body’s energy production, immune system, and stress management.
Nutrients that can help your body manage stress are:
- B Complex Vitamins
- Vitamin D
- Omega 3
These nutrients can be found naturally in food sources or in supplemental forms. To help optimize your intake of nutrients through food, it’s best to have a diet that contains the different food groups of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
With your carbohydrate intake, be sure to include a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain different vitamins and minerals, by having a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will help improve and widen your nutrient intake.
If you are concerned that your dietary intake is suboptimal, supplemental vitamin packs are a great way to ensure your body receives a wide range of nutrients in their recommended amount.
#5: Work-Life Balance
Life is all about balance and it includes the balance between your work and your private life. Having a poor balance between these two can enhance stress and reduce the quality of your life. A work-life balance can be in the form of having an hour a day dedicated to your hobbies or quiet time, regular vacations, and refraining from work if possible after work and during the weekends.
Having a work-life balance can help to reduce stress and improve productivity which will further help to reduce work stress. It can also help to reduce the risk of developing physical and mental illness that is associated with burnout.
#6: Get Organized
Getting organized is not just color-coding your files and an excuse to buy pretty colored file dividers and highlighters. It refers to decluttering and organizing multiple aspects of your life including your office, desk, or even home. Having a disorganized work and personal space increases the production of cortisol in your body, increasing the amount of stress placed on your body. Decluttering and organizing your spaces reduces the amount of cortisol produced, reducing stress.
Having a clear work and personal space also helps to improve productivity, improve sleep, and can even improve your nutrition through having an organized meal plan. These all work to improve your general wellness and reduce and manage stress.
#7: Talk to Someone
Talking about stress and factors that are contributing to your stress can help to reduce it. This can be in the form of chatting to a friend or loved one, communicating your stressors to your colleagues or manager, and in some cases chatting to a professional. Talking through stressors can help you process them and can help you receive the support you need. In some cases, it could be extra emotional support from friends and loved ones, additional work support to help reduce your caseload or professional help. Read more about The benefits of having lip fillers.
Receiving professional help for stress can help you to learn skills to manage and effectively reduce your stress for current and future work stressors.
Stress doesn’t have to rule your life, it can be reduced and managed to allow you to enjoy your life in general and to optimize your personal time and vacation. If you are still struggling to manage your work stress, seeking professional help can help to provide the support and guidance you may need to manage your work stress.