Work stress is an unfortunate but common aspect of modern working life. Heavy workloads, tight deadlines, long hours, and job insecurity can all contribute to feeling stressed at work. While some stress may be unavoidable, there are many effective techniques you can use to relieve work stress and maintain your mental health.
Take Breaks Throughout the Day
Taking short breaks throughout the workday allows you to reset both mentally and physically. Even just stepping away from your desk for 5-10 minutes to get a snack, chat with a coworker, or take a brief walk outside can help clear your head. Build in time for these microbreaks to give your mind periodic rests.
Prioritize and Delegate
Evaluate your to-do list and prioritize the most urgent or important tasks. For less critical items, consider delegating to others if possible. Focus on one task at a time, without getting overwhelmed by everything on your plate. Ask for help if you are taking on too much.
Leave Work at Work
After a stressful day, make an effort to detach from work when you leave the office. Resist the urge to answer emails or take work calls at night or on weekends. Protect your personal time so you can relax and recharge.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
When you start to feel stressed during the workday, take 5 minutes to practice deep breathing, meditate, or engage in other relaxation techniques. Finding even a brief moment of calm can help clear your mind and improve focus. Consider keeping stress relievers like a fidget spinner within reach.
Cultivate Work Relationships
Having positive, collaborative relationships with coworkers can help buffer work stress. Get to know colleagues personally and build trust through communication and teamwork. A strong support system at work can help you manage challenges.
Make time before or after work to exercise, even if just for 20-30 minutes a day. Exercising releases endorphins that can boost your mood while also relieving muscular tension. Prioritizing regular exercise can reduce your overall stress levels. Consider taking a walk around the office building on your lunch break.
Develop a Morning Routine
Starting your day feeling frazzled will put you in reaction mode from the start. Have a consistent morning routine that promotes feelings of mindfulness and calm. Wake up a little early, hydrate, meditate, and complete other grounding routines to begin your workday on the right foot.
Improve Time Management
Work overload and rushed deadlines contribute heavily to workplace stress. Reflect on your time management skills and look for ways to work smarter. For example, group similar tasks together and tackle them in batches to be more efficient. Find ways to optimize your schedule.
Seek Balance in Life
Aim for balance among your work, family, relationships, hobbies, health, and other aspects of life. If work takes up too much of your time and energy, make intentional changes to integrate more of what nourishes you. A balanced life outside of work can better equip you to manage stress on the job.
The pressure of workplace demands can easily lead to feeling chronically stressed. However, by proactively managing your time, practicing self-care, and adopting healthy stress management strategies, you can minimize work-related stress and safeguard your mental wellbeing.