It's time to redraw the blurring boundary between work and home as we gradually return to our offices. Those who enjoyed the flexible home office environment are resentful of returning to work. You can no longer work from the comfort of your bed, catnap on your couch, or blame everything on the poor wi-fi.
Of course, some of you are excited to return to the office, while others are opposed to returning to their office routines. But, sooner or later, you will notice a shift in your energy, attention, and emotions. You might start to feel anxious about returning to the office due to a lack of information about the company's safety measures, changes in your role, or changes in the organizational structure.
In short, the sudden change in your emotions, energy, or the feeling of fatigue, anxiety are all the key indicators of stress in a workspace. Hence, coping with stress at work is pivotal for your health and productivity. Keep reading to find out tips to manage stress at work.
Find Out What Triggers You
It is tough to handle stress unless and until you identify what is causing it. Listen to your emotions, understand your stress pattern, and keep tabs on warning signals or triggers.
Some of the physical signs of stress include but are not limited to are digestive issues, difficulty in sleeping or breathing, the habit of picking your skin or nails, snapping unnecessarily, or just hunching your shoulders. Emotional or mental signs include irritability, anxiety, panicking, etc.
Accept Your Emotions
It is critical to recognize that it is natural to feel uncomfortable. Most importantly, don't judge your emotions, and it is okay to feel uncomfortable at stressful times. Appreciate those feelings as it is and accept them. It's alright if your presentation didn't go as planned, and it's also okay if you're irritated or dissatisfied about it. You are free to feel them and not judge them.
Hit The Pause Button And Take a Deep Breath
There are several breathing exercises you can do when you are anxious and need aid to calm down and restore balance. First, take a deep inhale, hold your breath for a few seconds and exhale with force.
Another way to help you feel at ease is by doing cool-down breathing. To do this, breathe in through your mouth and exhale through your nose. It is supposed to give you a cooling sensation over the top of your tongue. You can do this to give yourself some buffer time before reacting to stressful situations.
Form Positive Relationships
It is good to have a workplace venting buddy with whom you can express your emotions without feeling judged or insecure. Tell them what's on your mind and get it off your chest. It is critical to express your feelings to make them less overwhelming. It helps to calm down the brain's negative responses and reduce stress. When you express your feelings, they become less acute.
However, it is also essential to be a better listener. Develop the habit of openly appreciating others and recognize that everyone has a limit to their tolerance and that their issues are no less significant than yours.
Resist being perfect with everything. According to Sandra Wood, a divorce coach, coming back to work is fantastic, but now is not the time to strive to be an A+ student. For the time being, a C-level job is adequate, and it is acceptable to work like that unless you are not missing out on pressing needs. Trying to be perfect is not a flaw in itself, but it is hard to regulate every element of a workplace and expect everyone to be flawless. Determine which parts of the issue you can and cannot influence. While you can't control the interrupters, you can control how you react to them.
Don't Be a To-Do Lister
Let us tell you what's wrong with writing the to-do list. Firstly, you are excited to write everything you want to do and end up listing too many unrealistic tasks leaving you to feel overwhelmed. Secondly, you will be unable to prioritize the critical activities that require urgent attention or will benefit you in driving closer to your goal.
So, instead of making a to-do list, schedule your day with realistic and achievable tasks. By doing so, you can visualize what's your day will be like and can prepare accordingly. It is critical not to over plan or to stick to a strict timetable. Always leave enough time between activities or events to ensure that your ongoing task does not interfere with your next event. It allows you to take rests in between so that you may restart without feeling exhausted.
Know Your Stress
As said earlier, knowing what causes you stress is the only way to manage it. However, it is critical to discern between positive and negative stress signs. It is necessary for managers to create, control, and distribute intentional stress at a workspace to foster strength and resilience among employees. Eustress is a healthy way to help you move outside your comfort zone, prepare for a challenge, and set you up for success. Unlike distress, it doesn't make you feel drained or miserable.
Taking up a challenging task or acquiring a new skill by setting a target is a fantastic example of eustress. Eustress works as an energy booster and makes you feel better about yourself in the long run.
Leave Room For Distractions
Honestly, a little distraction won't hurt your productivity. Taking care of an indoor desk plant, going for a walk, or talking to your colleague for a few minutes are some of the healthy distractions you can have to reduce stress at work. Keeping yourself fully hydrated will help you move away from your desk once in a while to use the restroom.
Properly utilizing your break time is also essential to sharpen your focus. Engaging with coworkers from different departments while walking down a hallway is also a fantastic way to break up a monotonous work environment.
Consume a healthy, nutritious diet enriched with fibers, proteins, and vitamins. Omega-3 is known to boost brain power and is easy to add to your diet. Regular exercise lifts your mood and increases your energy. Avoid fad diets as they can disrupt your mind and body abruptly. Maintain a strict sleep schedule and avoid using electronics before bed.
Be Aware of Your Limitations
Knowing your limitations and communicating them to others is essential for the orderly allocation of job tasks and serves as a signal to seek assistance when necessary. Recognizing your boundaries does not make you vulnerable, but it does make you aware of your ability and allows you to work to your maximum potential.
Remember that productivity should not be at the expense of your physical and mental health. Listen to your body, its response to a situation, and act on it. Don't stress about things you can't control, and be mindful of the choices you make every day. Think optimistically, and don't berate yourself for minor setbacks.