Stress affects us all and it is often how we actually cope with it which can affect us most. Stress can affect our physical and psychological wellbeing and here are some tips to help reduce your stress.
1. Accept that you are feeling under excessive pressure which leads to stress and look at ways to develop skills to manage your stress such as time management and setting priorities.
2. Prioritise the tasks you have to do today. Identify the top most urgent and important tasks in the morning (no more than three). Do this each morning as a routine.
3. Be aware of any tension in your body especially around your neck, back and shoulders. When you find that you have a lot of tension, identify when it started and was there a person or an event which caused it. This will help to relieve the tension especially if you can avoid the person or situation.
4. Stop worrying – when things around you are outwith your control, aim to stop worrying about it. Make a list of what is causing you to worry and then score them from 1 to 5 (1 being you have no control over the worry) and 5 being you have control over what is worrying you. The list for the worries you have control over, look at the list and identify actions you can take to reduce the worry.
5. Breathe slowly – when you breathe from your diaphragm it helps you to relax almost right away. To breathe deeply, place your hand on your abdomen. Inhale slowly and watch your hand move out as your stomach expands. Hold the breath for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly. Repeat several times.
6, De-clutter your work space – keep only your essential items on your desk and aim to have a clear desk policy at the end of the day. Work on one job at a time and try not to have lots of piles of papers which makes if difficult to find that one sheet you need to find before a meeting. At least once a month, clean your desk properly including your computer with appropriate cleaner. You will feel so much better when everything is clean and tidy.
7. Change negative thoughts with a positive thought. Saying “Nothing ever works out for me,” to “I can try the next time and look at it in a different way”. Other examples are “I can’t manage that” to “I can try the next time and will gain new skills so that I will manage”.
8. Taking lunch away from your desk will help so it doesn’t make your desk sticky and it also means that you get away from work which may have been piling up. When you return from lunch, you will feel better and will actually work more efficiently. Another option can be to take time out from what you are doing and give yourself at least about 15-30 minutes to have your lunch and also enjoy it.
9. Going for a walk away from your desk and the office or where you work. This will help your circulation especially your legs and will make you feel much better when you get back. It is good to walk to speak to a colleague rather than emailing them. Try or suggest walking meetings rather than sitting round a table.
10. Sleep well – if you go to bed at the same time each night for 2 weeks and then get into a pattern will help you sleep much better. A warm bath can help and if you are worrying at night then put a pad and a pen beside your bed and jot your worries or thoughts down so that you don’t need to keep trying to remember all night. Having no television, mobile or electronic gadgets in the bedroom can help you to relax and sleep better.