There is a great workplace stress-reliever available to most of us, and it is absolutely free.You don’t have to pay any membership fees, you don’t need expensive equipment, and you probably can do it on your next lunch break. Can you guess what it is? Take a walk outside.
Not much of a secret, I know, but most of us don’t do what we already know is a good idea. The benefits of doing this simple thing are big, though, so think through some of your objections and see how to add a walk outside to your day:
park far away so you have to walk to get to work
have a walking meeting with a co-worker or two (more than three gets awkward)
walk inside in bad weather; it’s better than not walking at all
take a walk when you are stuck on a project so you can ruminate on solutions
walk a little bit if you can’t walk much
This is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your workplace stress, and it’s free. You may have to bring some shoes from home and switch into them, but that’s about it. Your health will improve, your attitude will improve, and you come back inside with a fresh take on problems. What’s the alternative? Sitting at your desk stewing over things, your thoughts chasing each other like hamsters on a wheel and not going anyplace, your body settling into a blob of unhealthiness. So get up, go outside, and take a walk. It’s free, it’s good for you, and it gets rid of some of that stress.
Have you ever considered the ways your work comes home — and your home comes to work? One writer recently shared her thoughts in this article titled, “4 Things Business Taught Me About Parenting — and Vice Versa” and I am sure, if you thought about it, you could come up with more things you have learned as you balance career and family.
The reality is that we aren’t compartmentalized into two separate persons who are exclusively at home or exclusively at work. If you are having problems at home, it is easy to bring that stress into the workplace, and the same tendency applies from work to home. But there are good things that overlap, too!
“Treat others the way you’d like to be treated” is a basic childhood lesson that never stops being the right thing to do.
“Be responsible for your behavior” applies pretty much everywhere I can think of.
“Apologize when you are wrong” gets everybody on the same side, and the same team, and frees you to deal with the problem.
“Time out” gives a chance to regroup and respond instead of react. You don’t put a co-worker in the corner, but you could suggest a break and set up a meeting to discuss solutions.
“Nap time/Snack time” acknowledges the physical limitations of a child. But grownups, too, have physical limitations and repeatedly working through lunch or excessive overtime will reveal that fact.
“Respect each other’s boundaries and differences” goes past teaching kids to get along and into the working world with people from many backgrounds and perspectives.
“Do your chores”, or your to-do list, because sometimes you just have to get it done regardless of how you feel about it.
What are some things you have learned from work and applied to home, or vice-versa? I’d love to hear from you!
Stress in the workplace is universal, but there are things that you can do to alleviate that stress and channel it into good energy. Here are a few suggestions that can help you take control of the situation to your benefit: Realize that you only have control of your own stuff.
You can do something about your desk or area of responsibility.
You can do something about the way you respond to a situation or the things you tell yourself.
You can’t force someone else to act the way you wish they would.
Do a good job with the stuff you have control over.
Keep your work area picked up and functional. It doesn’t have to be sterile, but make it calm by putting away the clutter & paring the accessories down to one or two things that you really enjoy looking at. You can switch them out as often as you like but only display the minimum.
Focus on doing your job well and being friendly without drama. Don’t gossip or backstab; think of your coworkers as future referrals for your next job and act accordingly.
Take advantage of training sessions, assessments, and improving your job skills. Get job counseling and expand your horizon to include working toward a different job if that’s what you’d like to do.
Own your mistakes. Stop the blame game in its tracks by acknowledging when you blew it and put the emphasis on fixing the problem and going on.
Take a walk instead of reaching for the snack. Replace unhealthy coping skills with healthy ones and use the energy from that stress reaction for exercise.
Let the coworker deal with their own stuff because you can’t do it for them.
If you work with a chronically angry person, you probably are not the source of their anger. You just are there to dump on. If you can, avoid giving them an opportunity to dump on you. If it isn’t possible, imagine an open garbage bag they are dumping into and toss it when they are done.
If your workplace is truly intolerable, focus on leaving as soon as you can with good references from this job. Don’t burn any bridges by bad behavior and do what you can to keep your stress level down. This is great motivation to research career options, develop a strategy, and look for another job armed with all the skills you can develop. Stress isn’t caused by a situation; it’s caused by our reaction to a situation. Your body goes into the same type of stress mode with any intense situation, from athletic competitions to scary movies to roller coasters to the workplace. Taking control of what you can will keep that stress positive for you and your career.
Everyone knows about job related stress. But few know how to resolve it or to reduce it. Job related stress can make your life absolutely miserable and it’s important to get rid of it altogether, or at least get it reduced so it doesn’t affect your everyday life. It is estimated that a whopping 62% of Americans feel their work is the major cause of stress in their lives. Yikes! At the same time, stress levels have increased 50% since 2007. These are very significant numbers.
Some of the things that induce job related stress are impending layoffs, problems with co-workers or superiors, overtime, no time off, and simply not being in the right job position.
Any number of these things can cause physical problems such as things upset stomachs, frequent headaches, sleep issues and even grinding your teeth. More serious health issues are increased blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain and psychological problems. No one wants any of the above mentioned problems. Therefore, it’s important to make a change. Possible changes include taking time off from work, working out any differences between co-workers and superiors, making sure you are prepared in case there are layoffs, and if you are just unhappy in your position, start searching for another position. Remember, nothing in this world is more important than your health and your well being. A vacation or a job change will affect your income, but it’s important to understand that it’s better to make adjustments and rearrange a couple of bills in order to make things easier on you.
You don’t want to have problems with family or have psychological problems over job stress. If necessary, find a new job. Make the new year count by reducing the stress levels in your life. It is never too late to make changes so that you can live a more balanced, calm life.