Whether it's deadlines, an overwhelming workload, difficult co-workers or a demanding boss (or perhaps all of the above!), stress in the workplace can often reach unhealthy levels, which can only lead to your spiralling down an unhealthy path (think high blood pressure, emotional eating, weight gain, etc.). There are a number of ways you can manage stress before it becomes all-consuming. Try these out.
If it feels like your shoulders are hunched up by your ears because it's been a stressful day, getting some exercise will make you feel looser and less wound up. If feasible, hit the gym for a lunch hour class, or go for a walk. When you get moving, you help get your feel-good endorphins going, plus you get to focus on something other than your workload for awhile.
Loosen up by having a laugh. Watch a funny clip on YouTube, or take a five-minute break and call up a friend who never fails to make you chuckle. Laughing will help lighten your mood, and it's been shown to have a favourable effect on the body's stress response, leaving you feeling lighter and more relaxed.
One fantastic way to relieve stress is to write down your feelings and thoughts. You can do this when at home after the workday, but if you feel particularly anxious at the workplace and can afford to take a few minutes off, jot down your thoughts. Simply putting them down on paper can help you work through ways to look at or handle a situation.
Adding a plant to your workspace will not only spruce it up a little, but studies have shown that plants can reduce stress levels and increase productivity — good reasons to convince your co-workers to keep a plant on their desks as well.
While engaging in any type of exercise will help relieve some stress, yoga in particular is especially helpful. This mind-body practice doesn't even call for your going anywhere, as you can easily do a few yoga poses right in your cubicle. Visit Yoga Journal for 15 moves you can easily incorporate into your workday.
Even if you have just a couple of free moments, take that time to close your eyes and take a few deep, cleansing breaths. This can help you decompress even if you're not fully versed in the art of meditation.
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