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Workplace Stress - how you can reduce it.

On23/ 05 /19

It’s easy to trivialise stress in the workplace, but work-related stress can cause a whole host of problems, including poor mental health, a weakened immune system leading to physical health problems, and strain on relationships; not to mention decreased morale and productivity at work itself.

Although it’s not possible to change everything about your workplace, there are changes you can make to reduce workplace stress and improve your overall mental health. So here’s our quick guide to how to manage stress in the workplace.

Avoid unhealthy habits

Many people feel tempted to turn to unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol, caffeine or fast food when they feel stressed. However, although these things may provide some kind of temporary relief, these things make things worse in the long-run, as you end up feeling unhealthy and sluggish. 

So if you feel tempted to reach for a cigarette at the end of a long stressful day at work, resist and try sipping a green tea instead.

Eat healthily

A healthy diet, on the other hand, can not only improve your physical health, but also your mental health. 

Cut back on foods containing things which might adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, sugar, trans fats, dairy, and items with a lot of chemical preservatives and hormones.

Instead, eat mostly fruit, vegetables, healthy proteins such as beans, pulses and lentils, and if you can’t do without carb-rich foods, opt for wholemeal/wholegrain-based rice, pasta and bread - instead of white.

Omega-3 fatty acids can also boost your mood. The best source of omega-3 is fish, however if you are vegetarian or vegan you could try incorporating seaweed, flaxseed, or walnuts into your diet - or alternatively take a supplement.

Take regular exercise

In addition to keeping physically fit and lowering your risk of certain diseases, exercise is also a great way to boost your mood, relax your mind, and increase your ability to focus.

Doing 30 minutes of exercise on most days is recommended, however you could aim for a longer period two to three times a week, depending on your schedule.

Having an intense day at work? A constructive thing you can do to help combat the effects of stress is taking a short walk around the nearby area during your lunch break.

Try meditation

Meditation is a great way to de-stress and improve your overall mental health and positive feelings. Studies have shown that regular meditation can cause less stress, less anxiety, and higher feelings of wellbeing. 

It’s thought that trying to meditate every day for at least 10 minutes, perhaps at the start of the day, or before you go to bed can work wonders.

Check out this guide on how to meditate, or find a guided meditation video to watch on YouTube; there are many specifically on stress and anxiety.

Consider crystals

It might be that you’ve never considered this alternative therapy, but bear with us. Crystals have been on the earth for millions of years, and are thought to be a great way of absorbing, focusing, and directing energy - hence the existence of crystal healing as a holistic, natural therapy. 

Using crystals for anxiety, for example, can help absorb ‘negative energy’, bring inner peace, and boost your overall mood. It’s important to feel a connection with your crystals, so it’s a good idea to choose the crystal you feel most drawn to, but some great crystals for stress-relief include black tourmaline, amethyst, blue lace agate, and fluorite. 

Some people include them in their meditations,  or you could even take them to your workplace in order to enjoy the calming energy they omit.

Get plenty of sleep

A lack of sleep is a sure-fire way to increase your stress levels. The better rested you are, the better equipped you will be to focus, perform well in your job, and tackle workplace stress. 

Resist the urge to stay up late, and aim for at least eight hours sleep per night. It’s advisable to avoid viewing any mobile device screens an hour before you go to bed, as the light emitted can disrupt your sleep. You could also try wearing blue light blocking glasses when using your computer during the day.

Keeping a consistent routine for when you wake up and go to sleep every day can also help ensure a good night’s sleep.

Workplace changes

If your source of stress is coming mainly from your current job, have a look to see what positive changes you can make. 

Avoid falling into traps that can cause unnecessary stress, such as feeling like you have to be perfect all the time, or stressing out over things that you simply can’t control.

Why not try talking to your line manager about your workplace stressors - for example, if you’ve had a lot of work piled on you that’s outside your job description, or if the people you are working with are toxic, you could ask to be transferred to a role in another department.

If you’re finding that these kinds of tactics aren’t working, perhaps it’s time to search for a role somewhere that suits you better.

Lifestyle changes

Perhaps there are also a few lifestyle changes you could make to reduce your stress levels. 

For example, if a long commute is sucking the life out of you, it could be worth looking to see if you could move closer to your office, or transfer to another location. Or perhaps getting involved with a new hobby or doing some volunteering outside work could improve your overall sense of wellbeing.

A good support network is vital in improving your mental wellbeing too, so if you don’t have this within reach already, now is the time to get out there and meet some great new people.

Workplace stress can be debilitating, however with effective management there is light at the end of the tunnel!

If you feel you need a change of environment, Bucks and Berks Recruitment have a proven track record of helping candidates find roles they enjoy and find fulfilling, so make sure to contact us today and speak to one of our specialist consultants about what you’re looking for.

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