Workplace stress is inevitable. At some point, you’re bound to deal with an irascible co-worker, an unreasonable boss, an excess of paperwork, or looming deadlines. You may also become overwhelmed if your job is at risk because of potential layoffs or a poor performance review.
Unfortunately, few workplaces have ping-pong tables, Xboxes, and comfort llamas. So check out these 5 more sensible ways to deal with stress at work.
Take A Physical Break
Time is limited but work is unlimited. That doesn’t mean you have to grind through your lunch break. For the sake of your mental and physical health, getting away from the stress-boiler of the office is a great way to shake it off. Whether it’s a walk around a nearby park, a healthy lunch off campus, or a quick trip to the gym, the physical exertion and change-of-pace will do a world of good.
Stress is sometimes self-imposed. Are you taking on more work than you can physically complete? Are you nursing resentments over unfair workplace practices or preferences? Do you feel that your boss is inflicting unreasonable deadlines?
Get it off your chest by learning how to communicate your concerns in a constructive, positive manner. If, for example, your boss gives you a new project when you already have three others on your desk, pause to ask him how this new project fits in with your other priorities, and then list them. Your boss has his or her own worries and may not realize how hard he or she is leaning on you.
Prioritize And Delegate
Smart workers take the time to prioritize tasks and then tackle the hardest ones earlier in the day when they’re feeling freshest. If you have access to additional help, consider what you can delegate to other workers. If it’s in the budget, send large batches of work out to be photocopied rather than standing over the office photocopier yourself.
Hold The Phones
…and the emails, instant messages, faxes, and texts. If you absolutely have to get something done that requires full concentration, a few hours out of touch with the world may be just what you need to get it done stress-free, efficiently, and well.
Eat And Sleep Healthy
If you’re going to the vending machine several times a day, you’re only making yourself more prone to sugar highs and crashes. And if you’re staying up to finish a project only to arrive early the next morning, day after day, you’re depriving yourself of the sleep your body and brain need to refresh themselves.
Short-term stress is inevitable, but if high stress is part of your everyday life, you may begin experiencing physical symptoms such as insomnia, weight gain or loss, stomach upset, loss of focus, headaches, and overall irritability. For the sake of your health and relationships, make an extra effort to de-stress at work.