Stress Management In The Office

Office environments can be stressful. Tight deadlines, workplace conflicts and too much coffee all play their part in raising your stress levels. But fear not! Here are some small things that you can do to help alleviate that stress.

Update Your Boss

Trying to finish work for an unrealistic deadline can be a huge stressor. However, it could be that your boss doesn’t know that the deadline is unrealistic, and maybe the deadline can be changed. Ask yourself whether talking to your boss would help. Often, if you have a good reason why the deadline won’t be met, your boss will thow more people at the task or simply extend the deadline. Sometimes deadlines are arbitrary, and there isn’t actually a team of important people tapping their watches and awaiting your task’s completion.

Often, it pays to keep your boss informed of the progress you are making and to make them aware of any delays. She or he can then react in an appropriate way to the delay. No, that doesn’t mean falling to the floor and convulsing. That means they can inform whoever is affected by your task so that they in turn can change their expectations.

You could be putting yourself under unnecessary pressure by working to a tight deadline that could actually be pushed back. Inform your boss.

Did something happen that made your project much more complex? Inform your boss.

Did the task you’re working on suddenly become much bigger? Inform your boss.

Work Relationships

Maintaining good working relationships has many benefits, and one of them is that they enable you to interrelate with your colleagues more easily. It greases the wheels. In extreme cases, you might actually enjoy talking to your colleagues!

Yet difficult working relationships are one of the biggest causes of stress in the workplace. They can cause fear, distress, and of course raised stress levels. Find out how you can improve your work relationships.

The Comfortable Office

Office ergonomics is a whole book in itself, so check out the link to make your office as comfortable as possible.

Take Regular Breaks

Taking regular breaks is a great way to alleviate stress and is also good for improving your performance at work too. Tired, frustrated workers become stressed workers. Similarly, your productivity is reduced when you become fatigued.

A break from your work could come in the form of a walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water, or even a walk to another part of the office to talk to a colleague. Physical movement is good, so if you can move around, that’s great. If you have to stay at your desk but you have the internet available, you could visit a website totally unconnected to your work.

Lunchtimes are prime times for breaks. Whatever you do, don’t stay in the office during your lunch hour unless you absolutely have to. Spending an hour in the gym is the perfect use of your lunchtime. Performing physical exercise is an excellent way of shaking off all the stresses of the morning. Of course, not everyone can make it to the gym. If you can’t, it’s important to at least get some exercise, even if it’s walking around the block, or driving to the shops and having a wander around.

Take Regular Exercise

Taking regular exercise outside of your work hours can increase fitness, make you healthier and reduce your stress levels. The stresses you endure during work time don’t magically evaporate the moment you leave the office. They can linger. In extreme cases, the stress that builds up at work can linger until bedtime and actually affect your sleep.

Exercising regularly can reduce your general level of stress. You don’t need to go crazy and start a bodybuilding program in a gym, either. Simply walking for 20 minutes every day (30 minutes is better) can drastically reduce your stress.

Have A Healthy Diet

Remember to eat properly. In fact, doing anything that leads to a more healthy lifestyle will, by definition, reduce your stress. You should be eating good, healthy food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but in addition to these major meals, you can actually help yourself in the office too.

Take fruit to the office and eat it in your break times. Some people I know take an apple, an orange and a banana to work and eat them in their mid morning break. If you can eat some fruit in the afternoon, then that’s doubly good.

Drink plenty of water. Some offices provide their staff with a water fountain. If you work in an office without one, you could take your own bottled water.

Cut down on caffeine intake by drinking less coffee. Too much caffeine can make you nervous and anxious. As you can imagine, being nervous and anxious won’t help your stress levels at all! If you find it hard to reduce how much coffee you drink, try substituting it with other hot drinks like tea.

Get Enough Sleep

Being tired at work can make it hard for you to concentrate on your daily tasks, and that can lead to you experiencing more stress. The answer is obvious: get more sleep! Waking up rested and feeling rejuvenated can set your working day up perfectly.