“83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress”. Although this is the norm, how can we reduce stress in the workplace and make it more enjoyable, productive, and efficient? By focusing on self-care at work, setting boundaries, taking breaks, and redefining your lunch hour. Check it out!
Set Work Boundaries
Whether you work from home and your work interferes with your personal life, or you feel the need to constantly complete every request asked from you right away at work – this can be added stress that you can avoid. How? Create boundaries for yourself. If you work from home, try unplugging and disconnecting at the same time every day. If you work in a physical workplace, try requesting that coworkers send questions and requests via email so you can attend to them when it is convenient for you instead of sporadically meeting at one another’s desks or calling to complete the task immediately. Doing so will help you keep control and stay most productive.
Organize Your Space
A cluttered space is one of the leading factors in causing stress in the workplace. So to avoid this, try deep-cleaning, decluttering or creating some systems to your desk/workspace. This will keep you on track, motivated, and inspired with a clear mind.
Take Breaks – Regularly
Taking breaks regularly should come at no surprise. Our maximum productivity simply does not last for an entire 8 hours a day. If you want maximum productivity, give yourself a “mental break” break throughout the day. Walk to grab a water, a coffee, visit a coworker with whom you have a close relationship, (for a few minutes, don’t let this take over the majority of your day), take the long route back to your desk from the bathroom or the printer. Give yourself time to stretch, get some exercise, stand – and take regular breaks so that you have time to regroup and refocus.
Redefine Your Lunch Break
Your lunch break does not have to be solely dedicated to eating lunch. If you’re looking to spice up your day you can use this time (depending on how long you are allotted a lunch break) to run errands, exercise, read a book, grab a coffee at a nearby coffee shop, schedule doctors appointments, head to the grocery store, sit outside at a park – you name it. Utilizing this time for yourself and getting out of the office may be the mid-day break you need.
Make Your Needs a Priority
Feeling burned out? Bored? Needing a break? Wanting to switch tasks for a change of pace? Sensing miscommunication? Noticing conflict arising? Take note of these issues so you are able to directly and promptly address them. Not only will handling issues head-on reduce stress, but it will make you feel productive, and improve your job satisfaction.
Be Sure to Get Enough Fuel
We don’t just mean at lunchtime. If you account for the time you leave your house, the hours you’re at work, and the time it takes you to get home again – chances are you’re not eating enough if you’re only eating once on your lunch break. On average you spend about 10 hours working away from home. In that amount of time, you should be eating at least 2-3 times – or consuming enough calories to fuel you for that period. Lack of fuel can reduce productivity, cause you to feel lethargic and increase burn out – which are all factors that can cause stress.
Days that you’re feeling burned out, sluggish or tired – are days you need to listen to your body and act accordingly. Pay closer attention to your personal hygiene and attire, and you’ll notice how that positively affects the way you feel. On the contrary, if you’re not feeling up to par – you may want to dress in more comfortable clothing – to make work more enjoyable. So be sure to take inventory of this.
If you feel bored at work – this can also make you feel unmotivated and drained. Take the time to fill your schedule back up! See if there are projects or tasks you can take on to feel more challenged and boost your energy.
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