Whether you’re working in an office or in a school, workplace stress is something that is universal to all jobs. But while a little pressure every now and again isn’t necessarily bad, constant stress can be detrimental to your health. So if you’re feeling like everything is becoming too much, then you really need to read these simple ways to regain control.
1) Get Organised
Many jobs involve a multitude of tasks and it can become all too easy to forget what you need to do. So spend a little time planning out a spreadsheet or diary of tasks, and then add new ones as they come in.
Start off each day by making a closed list of tasks you will do that day. This principle, described in Mark Foster’s book Do it Tomorrow, is a great way of feeling like you’ve achieved something. Simply make a list and then draw a line under it. Any additional tasks that pop up can be put on a separate sheet for a later date. Traditional ‘to do’ lists are ever-growing, but with a closed list you know the end is in sight.
You should also learn to plan and not be reactive. Don’t panic and only do what needs doing urgently, instead you should structure your time. Rather than immediately responding to all of your e-mails at once, set aside 20 minutes at the start of each day; doing tasks in batches can make you a lot more efficient.
2) Liven Up Your Workspace
Boring and unstimulating workspaces can easily make you feel depressed, so add some fun and colour! Plants are a great way of bringing the outdoors in, while pictures will cheer up the atmosphere.
Whether these changes are made to the whole workplace, or just your own office walls, it will make the space appear more homely and inviting, and also boost your moral.
3) Take Time Out
You have a lunch break for a reason, so don’t use it as an opportunity for extra work. Similarly, you should avoid frequent overtime, especially if it’s not paid. Our minds don’t work as well if they aren’t allowed a break, so always take a few minutes out to think about something else. You may even find that you develop new ideas and perspectives on the problem at hand.
4) Eat Well
What we put into our body can have a big effect on our emotions, so be careful with what you eat and drink. Here are a few foods that promote anxiety and stress, and a few that help to reduce it.
Foods to Avoid
Foods to Buy
5) Step Back
At the end of the day, if you’re still feeling stressed, it’s time to take a step back. The majority of the tasks we do aren’t really that important in the grand scheme of things – despite how it may seem at the time. And if it all gets too much, you can always just walk away.
No matter how much pressure is applied, workplace stress should never be allowed to affect your health.
What ways to reduce stress work for you?