5 Tips to Beat Stress at Work
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
It’s easy to think we’re too cool for stress, that we already built strong foundations and habits allowing us to steer clear of it, and if so, well done to you, high five. Having worked with employees in the corporate world for years, we must admit it’s quite rare we witness individuals with systems so strong they can evade all forms of work-related stress.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, we can simply look at the facts. In 2013, Safe Work Australia released a report on work-related mental stress and its associated costs (based on analysis of Australian workers’ compensation claims from 2008 to 2011). The report found that the loss of productivity and absence of workers is costing Australian businesses more than $10 billion per year. By far and wide, stress leave is the most costly form of workplace absenteeism in Australia.
Despite these alarming numbers, more and more organisations every year are getting creative, and investing in ways to keep their employees happy and healthy. Lucky you, because it seems you happen to work for such an organisation. Like many things, stress is best kept under positive control if we take accountability for our own health, and put the right systems in place. So let’s focus on a few things we can do to keep the demons away.
Your people network is not the same as a social network. Work, in so many ways, offers a great environment. You are surrounded by people just as brilliant as you, doing great work like you, all with a similar mission. These people more than likely face the same struggles you are facing, or have faced worse. Talk to them. Go first. Be honest. You will find they will listen, and offer valuable advice. And sometimes, you don’t even need the second part, the first will be enough to calm and soothe your mind.
2. Take is Easy on the Stimulants
That 3rd coffee sure seems like a great idea at the time. But like most things, it doesn’t come for free. The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. A few beers after works seems like a well deserved cure. But your sleep will suffer the consequences. When in doubt, go for sustainability.
3. Get up and Move
Never stay seated for more than 30 minutes. Get up and move. Talk to employees in another department. Call a client from your mobile while walking across the block. Have a walking meeting with the team. Do not let your precious lower-body muscles degenerate. You will need them. You will love the energy that comes from moving.
4. Eat Balanced Meals
Don’t let yourself go to the starving point. Mistakes will be made at that point. Have a bag of nuts at your desk. For lunch, take is easy on the carbohydrates. Stay hydrated. Dehydration will confuse your pallet and make you believe you are hungry. Eating well balanced meals will help you to keep healthy and maintain your energy for the long, busy days most of us face at work.
5. Look Out for Your friends.
All of us have harder days. How nice would it be for someone to come up to you on such days and cheer you up, with a wide smile and a simple, caring word. Crack a joke for them. You have to be that person for others around you.