Posted on Wednesday, 16th May 2018
Workplace stress is a widespread problem at the moment. It can be extremely detrimental to wellbeing and general health. If your workplace stress is becoming too much to cope with then it may be beneficial to talk to a professional counsellor.
In the meantime, there are some practical steps you can take which may make your day to day work life more manageable and over time could make a big difference to your wellbeing:
It may sound silly, but sometimes when we are really stressed, our breathing can become very shallow, or we can find we stop breathing! Have you ever noticed when you’re sitting at your desk feeling very stressed you’ve realised you’ve been holding your breath?
Next time you feel your stress levels rising, try this breathing exercise:
Breathe in slowly, counting for 5 seconds
Hold this breath for for 5 seconds
Breathe out slowly, counting for 5.
Repeat this cycle until you feel yourself becoming more calm.
As time goes on you may want to increase the seconds you count, up to 10.
When we are really busy, we can become convinced that we need to be glued to our desk, completing all our work, as quickly as we can, as there are not enough hours in the day. By doing this, you may actually be making life harder for yourself. This can cause you to become unproductive and more prone to mistakes. Taking regular breaks can improve our performance when we return.
Lunch breaks are especially important. In order for a lunch break to be most effective it should contain three things.
Control — you have control over how you spend it
Relaxing — it should be relaxing
Relatedness — you feel a closeness to people in it.
It will not always be possible for your lunch break to always have these three things, but it is useful to bear in mind day to day.
It's good to talk
Is there someone at work you can comfortably talk to? Whether it’s about work, or just what you’re doing at the weekend. Having connectivity in our day to day lives can make a real difference to our wellbeing.
Think about your physical environment
We spend so many hours at work. So what you’re looking at day in day out while you’re working can make a difference to your wellbeing. Having indoor plants can be an easy yet effective way to improve your workspace. Having plants around you can lower anxiety and increase productivity and wellbeing.
Record positive feedback
It can be so easy for is to be hard on ourselves and just dwell on the things we think didn’t go well in work. So try making a physical note of every time something goes well. Whether that’s when you receive some positive feedback, or when you feel a project goes well. This can be useful to refer back to when having a crisis of confidence.
Ever think about the day or week ahead and feel completely overwhelmed with all the things you have to do? Sometimes breaking it down into practical chunks can really help. Plan your day in hour slots. Leave time for things to overrun or go wrong. Immediately things can seem more manageable and realistic. It can also be a great way of telling whether there are enough hours in the day with the right planning, or that actually you need to delegate some things.