By Brian Acton
Does your job cause you to feel anxious, overwhelmed, or completely spent by the end of the day? You could be taking on more stress than your mind and body are equipped to handle. Whether your stress is caused by an unreasonable workload, job insecurity, a poor work life balance, or something else, too much stress can wreak havoc on your health. Stress can lead to depression, a decreased immune system, fatigue, and other health problems.
Here are some tips for reducing workplace stress.
- Get Up from Your Desk
When you’re stuck at your desk for hours at a time, you might become too focused on work and neglect to take breaks. Consider spending some time away from your computer, as long sedentary periods can also lead to problems with posture, decreased mobility, heart disease and diabetes.
Set a timer that reminds you to get up from your desk once in a while, ideally on an hourly basis. You can take a walk, go outside, chat with a coworker, or take a lap around the office - the point is to get some activity away from your screen. Your mind and body will get a chance to relax a little bit.
- Get Some Exercise
Exercise has some serious stress reduction benefits. Exercise increases the production of endorphins that make you feel good, helps you concentrate on an immediate activity rather than a project or conflict at work, it can improve confidence and reduce anxiety or mild depression symptoms, and even help you get a better night’s sleep.
If your work and other obligations make it difficult to find time to exercise, all is not lost. Use these hacks to sneak exercise into your daily routine.
- Eat Healthy
Eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help you combat stress in many ways. Healthy foods can boost serotonin levels in the brain that naturally help you calm down. They can also help fight the symptoms of stress including weight gain, a decreased immune system, and high blood pressure.
Junk food, on the other hand, is easy to crave when you’re stressed out but won’t fill the nutritional role that healthier foods do. Next time you’re feeling stressed, reach for a healthy snack and avoid the junk food in the vending machine.
When you’re stressed out at work, the last thing you may want to do with your free time is go out and socialize. But humans are social creatures, and spending time with friends or family can help reduce anxiety and increase your sense of connection to others. If you’re strapped for time, a phone call or chatting online can help - though face to face interactions may be best.
Socializing with others doesn’t just help reduce stress in the immediate future. It can help build a strong support network through friends, family, or your community that can help you in times of need.
- Say No When You Can
Have you already bitten off more than you can chew for work? You may need to step back and say no to additional requests when you’re overcommitted. If an explanation is needed, try explaining that you’re already overextended and taking on additional projects could harm the quality of your work.
- Get Some Sleep
Too much stress can affect your ability to a good night’s sleep, which in turn can lead to additional stress. When you don’t sleep enough at night, your body will increase your stress hormones. Use these tips to establish a consistent sleep schedule.