5 Ways to Lessen Workday Stress
By Heidi Baldwin, MS, Holistic Health Coach
Work can be one of the most stressful places we spend time. Especially now, with jobs that have had to change to adapt to the times. As we are picking up the slack and transitioning back and forth between home and the office, it can be a lot for anyone to handle. This is why prioritizing mental health and being vigilant about keeping stress at bay is so important. I have a few tried and true tricks to share to keep stress low and spirits high.
Create your daily plan.
Going into your workday with a plan will give you a sense of purpose and peace. Knowing what you need to get done, in order of importance, is a great way to keep yourself on task. We know that staying on task creates an even flow throughout the day versus needing to get specific things done in a time crunch before lunch or before leaving for the day. So, the idea of pacing ourselves doesn't get enough praise because when done right, it is incredible for keeping stress at bay!
Declutter your desk.
Starting the day off with a clean workspace is another tip that is often overlooked. For example, if we sit down at a cluttered workspace with tabs open from yesterday's work, chances are we will feel out of sorts. By taking a few minutes to tidy up and open just the programs you need for today, you'll feel much more centered as you begin to work. The same can be said for piles of paperwork. Try to get those put away or organized in to do folders by the end of the work day so you are ready to start your day fresh.
Stay on task.
It's so easy to get off track when you're working and notice that a major piece of the puzzle is missing. We often stop what we are doing to tend to this new problem, which leads us down a rabbit hole of other tasks and projects. This leaves us with little to show for the hours we have spent working. Instead, keep a priority list, and mark things off as you go. Make sure to finish each task before moving on so that there are no loose ends for future you to go back and tie up. Try to avoid multitasking as well – we tend to end up spending more time getting less finished.
Take a break.
Unless we go into this with intention, it's so easy to misuse our time, whether a break, lunch hour, sick day, or vacation. If you're allotted time to decompress throughout the day, be sure to take advantage of it. Getting away from your desk and focusing on something else allows your brain to create new connections and subconsciously work out problems. So have a healthy lunch, take a walk, get some fresh air, or simply enjoy connecting with yourself or someone you care about during your workday.
One of the easiest ways to de-stress during the workday is by incorporating meditation. Doing some simple breathing exercises can center you and bring you back to yourself in the moments that work begins to feel overwhelming. You can even choose to start your day or lunch break with a short meditation from your favorite meditation app.
Committing to creating a calm work environment helps with our own stress level and how those around us feel. This leads to happier employees and a healthier workplace, which leads to a better work environment for everyone!