How to manage stress at work

Everyone who works, whether it’s part-time or full time, in a coffee shop, an office or even from home, has dealt with some level of work-related stress. Dealing with stress at work is very common and more and more people are finding themselves struggling with burnout.

There are two different types of workplace stress, short-term and chronic. With short-term stress, you may experience feeling more pressure than usual to meet a tight deadline or fulfil a challenging task. Whereas, chronic, or long-term stress, refers to constant, overwhelming stress that can have a significant impact on both your physical and mental health. 

A stressful work environment can lead to headaches, stomachaches, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating and short tempers in the short -term. In the long-term, a high amount of work stress can result in high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety and heart disease.

So, for both employers and employees, it’s now more important than ever to introduce a workplace wellbeing programme and to learn how to manage stress in a healthy and supported way. Here, we’ve listed some of our top stress management tips to help you get started.

1. Learn What Causes you Stress

First, and foremost, learning where the cause of your stress is coming from can help you deal with it effectively. Whether it’s a high workload, tension with a coworker, a low salary, no opportunity to progress or conflicting or unclear expectations, taking notes can help you find patterns amongst your stressors. You can also make notes on what you did to overcome the stress or the reactions you had to then make a more positive change. Once you’ve learned what exactly causes your stress, speak to your direct manager to come up with a solution.

2. Stay Organised

Planning ahead and staying organised can greatly reduce stress. Getting into the habit of being more organised with your time will mean you won’t have to rush as much in the morning, can plan out your day and avoid staying later in the evenings. This will not only make you feel better mentally but will keep you more efficient with your work too. To help keep organised you could make a list of the work tasks you want to complete for each day, ensuring it’s manageable, with the biggest priority tasks at the beginning of the week. This way, by the time Friday rolls around, you can relax in the knowledge that the most important tasks are done. There are also plenty of time management courses and tools you can try to help keep on top of your workload.

3. Be Comfortable

A common stressor that is often overlooked at work is physical discomfort. If you’re sitting in an uncomfortable chair for 6-8 hours a day, you’ll likely experience back pain, neck strain and misaligned hips which can all cause stress. As an employer wanting to create a happy and healthy environment for your employees, providing comfortable office chairs with good lumbar support, supportive armrests and the ability to be adjusted to each individual’s needs will instantly boost the mood and productivity within the office.

4. Practice Meditation, Yoga and Mindfulness

Practising techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness and yoga are all able to melt away stress and instil a sense of calm. It’s well-known that yoga can improve both mental and physical health, which is why so many employers are introducing classes and personal yoga sessions as a workplace benefit. As one of the best ways to combat stress, yoga can reduce the heart rate, blood pressure and tension in the body. This then has a positive effect on anxiety and depression which, overall, will make employees feel much more relaxed and ready to face any challenges during the day.

5. Give Yourself Short Breaks

Employees shouldn’t be expected to be glued to the desks and computer screens for 8 hours a day. So, make sure both you and your team are taking short, frequent breaks throughout the day. A 5-15 minute break every hour allows your brain to recharge, refresh and give you time to refocus. Make a coffee, visit the bathroom, grab a snack or talk to a coworker. Spending time away from your desk can actually help to be more productive rather than staying by your computer all day as you’ll likely feel happier, less stressed and more motivated.

6. Go for a Walk at Lunch

If you are able, take a walk during your lunch break. Spending time in nature, especially if it’s sunny, can help you blow off steam, improve your creativity, increase your concentration and boost your mood. Just 30 minutes a day can make a big difference in both your mental and physical health too. As office workers predominantly live a sedentary lifestyle, walking is a great form of cardio that will lead to fewer health issues, strengthen your heart and release endorphins that can positively impact your motivation, self-esteem and energy levels, making you feel better overall.

7. Decorate your Space with Plants

Plants have been scientifically proven to be amazing mood boosters while being great for our physical health too due to their air-purifying and humidity stabilising qualities. Filling your office with luscious, green plants will enrich the space, bringing nature indoors while improving everyone’s moods. Having plants in the office can also create a cleaner working environment as they remove toxins and pollutants from the air, which is great for your employees’ health and may even lessen the number of sick days taken.

8. Make Healthy Choices

We’ve all fallen victim to binge eating our favourite fast food or having a few more glasses of wine than usual in an attempt to relax and fight stress. But, while these may make us feel good temporarily, in the long run, they can be detrimental to our health and only make us feel worse. Try to replace these habits with healthier ones that’ll make both your body and your mind feel good. 

Exercise is a great stress-buster that’s available in many forms including dancing, swimming, running, hiking, bike riding and more that you can enjoy. Cooking healthy recipes too can also be a fun and relaxing hobby to partake in at the end of the day. Plus, it’s a great chance to bond with your partner or family while you forget about your work stress. Make sure you’re also getting enough good-quality sleep for effective stress management and limit any coffee intake later in the day

9. Talk to your Supervisor

As an employer, creating a work environment that promotes employee well-being includes ensuring people feel comfortable enough to speak to their supervisors and managers if they’re struggling. As an employee, you should feel able to have an open discussion with your superiors about workload, progress, work stress or any mental health issues you may be having. The purpose of these conversations isn’t to list every complaint, but to work effectively together to create a plan that can manage the stressors you’ve identified. This way, both you and your manager can help and give the support needed, make any changes necessary to reduce stress, offer helpful resources and enrich your working life.

Browse through our range of blue light protection, massage equipment and yoga equipment for your office to help improve employees health and wellbeing while at work.

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