The countdown to Christmas and New Year is on! Undoubtedly putting a lot of pressure on everyone this upcoming holiday season; so it does seem fitting that November 2nd is World Stress Awareness Day. In this post, we discuss methods of reducing stress, improving your moods and the impact your environment has on your stress levels in the workplace.
The workplace doesn’t have to be bursting with activity, multiple chaotic phone-calls at once, spilled coffees and frantic keyboard tapping to be busy. Being busy is simply having tasks, having a deadline and doing them within that deadline. You are busy. But being busy doesn’t necessarily have to be stressful. The key to managing your ‘busy’ is organisation. Lack of organisation leads to stress, stress leads to burnout. Here are 4 tips to keep your work life organised and productive!
Write a list including all the things you need to do that day. Split them into sections for morning and afternoon. Include everything, especially your breaks and your lunch. The feeling of success when you cross off a listed item makes you feel as if you’ve been more productive and successful. Even if it is just for a small task.
Set yourself weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Similar to lists, little goals will help you monitor your progress and boost your feelings of accomplishment. We’re talking bigger goals, such as “Obtain X number of orders this month” and “Have X number of viewers on the website” etc.
Sometimes you can’t finish all those tasks on your list, you’ve been unrealistic. Sometimes you can’t meet that monthly order goal and was a little too optimistic – the key is to reflect on why that’s happened to help ensure your successful next time. No, you didn’t get those orders this month, but you noticed a similar company posted a huge sale on similar products that you also sell. Reflect. adapt, try again.
TAKE A BREAK!
No matter what department you’re working in, regular breaks are a must. Overworked workers don’t work. A quick 5-minute toilet break, sip of the water bottle can mean you come back to your task with fresher mind ready to get stuck back in again.
Your workspace should be considered when thinking of your mental health.
A healthy workspace produces more active, engaged and happy workers.
Find tips for a healthy workspace below.
People should aim to drink around two litres of fluid per day for optimum performance and health, with water making up at least half of that total. Water stations should be easy to access and widely distributed in the workspace. Drinking water can prevent dehydration which can cause unclear thinking, result in mood changes, cause your body to overheat, and lead to constipation and kidney stones.
Encourage colleagues to communicate with inviting seating areas that allow for multiple people use. Sitting next to or across from a colleague during breaks give opportunities to get to know your work mates, discuss ideas, thoughts and feelings together. If your role permits; desks that allow for collaborative work really make employee’s feel part of a team. When they are given space to put forward their own ideas and feel listened too, productivity will spark!
As mentioned previously, a quick five minutes could make all the difference! It is far healthier for you to be able to walk away for a couple of minutes, collect yourself and return than sit at your desk frustrated. Quick regular breaks also keep you alert and productive. Taking breaks has been shown to be important in recovering from stress, which can, in turn, improve your performance.
The one huge tip for taking care of your mental wellbeing is to take care of your physical. Healthy body, healthy mind!
If you can find the time to fit in just 30 minutes of exercise per day, you could find that you have increased energy, a firmer body, and a stronger immune system. Exercise boosts circulation, muscle strength, and endorphin production, helping your body work more efficiently.
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is the key to a great night’s sleep. Establish a relaxing routine and set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. During sleep, the brain works to evaluate and remember thoughts and memories. Lack of sleep is especially harmful to the consolidation of positive emotional content. This can influence mood and emotional reactivity and is tied to mental health disorders and their severity.
Taking the time out to talk to someone gives you the opportunity to then discuss how you’re feeling out loud. Chances are, whomever you’re talking with has felt or is feeling the same. You can discuss the issues, compare coping strategies… or just laugh together at an irrelevant distraction. Regardless of what you do talk about, knowing that you can talk and have someone to listen can be huge for your moods and mental health.
There are websites which give information about how to manage your general mental health. There are also websites which explain how you can use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques to improve and manage your mental health. These can also be used for dealing with stress.
- NHS: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
- Mood Gym: www.moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome/new/splash;
- Mood Juice: www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk;
- Live life to the Full: www.llttf.com/index.php?section=page&page_seq=8&;
- Psychology Tools: www.psychologytools.com/
- MentalHealthUK: www.mentalhealth-uk.org/best-working-life/
- SleepFoundation: www.sleepfoundation.org