We’ve all been there. An inbox full of unread messages, a buzzing cell phone, a pressing deadline, and oh yeah — it’s 3:30 and you still haven’t eaten lunch. Stress is a necessary evil in the workplace. Small amounts can supercharge motivation and increase focus, but far more often workplace stress feels like balancing an elephant on your head (while walking a tightrope).
Here are our top 5 workplace-friendly stress busters you can try now.
1) Get moving
People weren’t meant to sit in an office chair for eight hours at a time, no matter how “ergonomic.” Aim to get up from your desk at least once an hour to stretch those legs. The Mayo Clinic recommends breaking up monotonous blocks of time to help re-center your focus and refresh your mind. Get up, get some water and step out for fresh air if possible.
2) Laugh more
It’s okay to laugh. Really. Laughter not only lightens your mental load but also cools down your stress response. In addition, humor is a natural form of healthy social contact. If you and your team are particularly overwhelmed, take a moment to laugh at the circumstance. Perhaps whole-heartedly.
3) Pamper your eyes
Mom was right. Too many hours in front of a glowing screen isn’t good for you. Dry eyes, blurred vision and headaches all amount to what doctors call “computer vision syndrome.” Try the twenty twenty twenty rule: For every 20 minutes of screen time, look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Your eyes will thank you.
4) Feed your brain
Don’t give lunch the cold shoulder. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of emails, meetings and assignments, but your brain needs fuel, and we’re not talking nachos. If you can only squeeze in one healthy meal a day, make it lunch. It’s much easier to pack something healthy ahead of time versus “promising” yourself to prepare a five-star organic dinner after an exhausting workday.
5) Don’t sweat the big stuff
“We experience stress when we feel that situations are out of our control,” says Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist and stress mitigation expert. She advises we acknowledge there are aspects of stress we can control, and things we simply can’t. We’re in control of our own actions, but what about a coworker’s? An unexpected deadline? Layoff rumors? Dr. Melnick’s advice: “Be impeccable for your 50%.” Try your best and let go of the rest.
Have you ever tried any of these methods? If so, what works best for you? Do you have any stress-busting tips of your own? Share your thoughts below.