Workplaces can cause stress of various types. Some stress is caused by adrenaline as you work quickly to get things done. Some is caused by tension. When you believe you cannot cope with a threatening situation, you develop a fight or flight response. Whether it’s difficult employees or a manager who wants you to deliver different results, people and situations can cause stress.
Everyone handles and processes stress differently. But there are ways you can learn to manage stress every day. The benefits of managing and reducing stress are many. You make better decisions if you’re not stressed. You can sleep better if you’re not stressed. You work better if your life is as unstressed as possible.
Here are five ways to manage daily stress.
Remember that you can’t control everything
Learn to let some things go. Even as a manager, you simply can’t control everything that happens. Focus on the things you can affect.
Make your day manageable with a to-do list
Sometimes, stress is caused by the feeling you’re never getting enough done. Make a list of the things you need to get done. Prioritize them, so the most important is done first. Check them off as you do them.
Then, at the end of the day, review the check marks. This will help you see how much you got done, which can be very calming. It’s a type of reward.
Extra tip: It can be helpful to use the checked-off material as fodder for weekly and monthly lists of accomplishments. It relieves any stressful sense of not getting enough accomplished, and works as an achievements list for review time.
Relax with deep breaths
Breathing deeply and mindfully is one of the best ways to reduce stress during the day. Your body relaxes, and your mind follows! Breathe in for a count of five; hold for a few seconds; breathe out for a count of five. Do this as often as needed.
Plan de-stressing activities during the day
There are many de-stressing activities you can do on breaks or during lunch. One is to get outside and walk around. If you can, listen to music or a few minutes of guided meditation during lunch.
Another is to get up and stretch periodically during the day. Stress combined with sitting all day in the same position can make your whole body ache. Your body craves motion.
Start the day calmly
Never start your day by feeling enmeshed in work immediately. You need a few minutes to think and plan, or you may be stressed from minute one. Take a minute to look over the to-do list from the day before.
If you work in an environment where that’s not possible, get grounded before you come in. Music or meditation tapes on your way to work can help.
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