Have you been feeling anxious or overwhelmed at work lately? Are you finding it hard to focus or connect with your colleagues? Has your motivation dropped and are you often feeling tired? If so, you may be experiencing symptoms of stress.
There is no unique definition of stress. What makes us feel stressed is very personal to each and every one of us. Usually stress is linked to either circumstances that put pressure on us, for example, times where we have lots to do, don’t feel in control of situations, or the feelings we get when being placed under pressure that we find difficult to cope with.
Stress can impact our physical health, our mental health and our behaviour. We all experience stress differently in different situations. So, whatever your personal definition of stress is, here are some top tips on how you can support your wellbeing in the work place.
- Identify your triggers
Identifying what stresses you out can help you anticipate problems and think of ways to solve them. Even if you can’t avoid these situations, being prepared can help you cope with them better. Keep a log of when you feel stressed or overwhelmed and what the situation was at that time e.g. were you having a difficult conversation, did you attend a stressful meeting or were you perhaps thinking about something that has happened in your personal life? Once you know what is causing the stress you can make a plan to deal with it.
- Organise your time
Create (realistic) to-do-lists, always start with something you’ve already done and cross it out. This will make you feel good! Identify the best time of the day for you to focus on different tasks and use your time effectively. If you are an early riser, get into work early and start your day and visa versa. Try not to do too many things at once and remember to schedule in regular breaks. Reward yourself at the end of specific tasks with a pat on the back.
- Build emotional resilience
Practice being straightforward and assertive, especially when you feel people are putting too many pressures on you – it’s not a weakness to push back and say no. Outside of work, create space in your routine for down time and spend quality time with friends and family. Try to foster a balanced lifestyle and make time for activities you enjoy doing. It’s equally as important to switch off and re-charge as it is to work hard.
- Take care of your physical health
Make sure you eat healthily, drink lots of water and have good night’s sleep. Get out of the office at lunch-time for a walk and try to eat away from your desk. Put the mobile down too, nothing on social media is that urgent! Doing regular physical activity can be anything from going to the gym to taking that dance class you’ve always wanted to. Simply going for a walk in nature is linked with significant mental and physical health benefits.
- Be Mindful
Think of why certain things cause you stress and notice any recurring thoughts that trigger a stress response. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help you gain perspective on issues and help you to feel calm, cool and collected. Regular meditation is proven to reduce stress and boost concentration.
Following these tips will help you to stay on top of things and find ways to cope with challenging situations, whilst replenishing your sense of wellbeing.