10 Ways to Fend Off Work Stress
Your phone is ringing, your voice mail light is flashing and you’re ignoring your overcrowded e-mail inbox to work on the presentation you will be giving in 10 minutes. Feeling a little stressed? Here are some tips to help you control that swell of panic that seems to follow you around all day at work.
1. Stop and take a deep breath.When you’re stressed, you tend to take very shallow breaths. Taking slow, deep breaths through your nose not only forces you to calm down, but it also gives your body extra oxygen to maintain your focus and energy.
2. Take a quick break.Get up out of your chair and stretch, walk down a few flights of stairs or just meander out in the hallway. This will give you a much-needed emotional and physical break from a stressful situation.
3. Organize your workspace.Come in a few minutes early one day and clear the clutter off your desk and file the project folders appropriately so you won’t have to search through heaps of paper the next time you’re looking for a particular document. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing what you need is “right here somewhere,” but you just can’t find it.
4. Walk at lunch.Make a lunchtime jaunt a regular feature in your day. It will give you something to look forward to, especially on those days when you feel you could pull your hair out.
5. Learn to laugh more.Everyone needs a release. Will you stomp around the office and complain, or will you combat those stress hormones with a hearty release of endorphins through laughter? It’s your choice. Read the comics, or tell a joke.
6. Make your environment work-friendly.Do you have a glare on your computer screen? Is it too hot in your cube? Try to fix these external factors to make your work environment the most comfortable and conducive to productivity.
7. Exercise regularly.Besides your little walking breaks at work, be sure to schedule some exercise time at home and on the weekends. You don’t need to compete in “ironman” competitions to feel the positive effects of exercise. A simple walk or bike ride around your neighborhood works just as well.
8. Take up a hobby.Do you like to garden? Work jigsaw puzzles? Always wanted to learn to play an instrument? Do whatever it takes to give your mind a break and think of something other than work.
9. Read an escape novel.Get engrossed in a good book. Nothing transports you from the ugly grips of reality to a totally different place like reading.
10. Get plenty of rest.Even little things can easily get blown out of proportion if you’re tired and cranky. Coming to work well-rested may give you the gumption you need to stare stress in the face and keep yourself from boiling over.
Copyright 2005 CareerBuilder.com