Reducing stress while working a 9 to 5 job is essential for maintaining your well-being and productivity. Here are five ideas to help you to manage yours:
Take a Walk:
It’s common knowledge that exercise improves your mood. Instead of sitting in the staff kitchen or in the café up the road, take the time every day to go for a brisk 15 minute walk – come rain or shine, no matter what. If you work somewhere where this isn’t apparently possible, get on Google maps and check out the local area from a bird’s eye view. You’re likely to spot a residential road or pathway that make a short walk possible. This may mean bringing accessories such as walking shoes, a mac, a hairbrush and an umbrella into the office, but you’ll get a worthwhile result – a sense of freedom and seclusion for at least 15 minutes a day, exercise, the opportunity to explore different places and the feeling of having had a proper break from your working day.
Mindfulness and Relaxation :
Try to practice mindfulness meditation. If you allocate a few minutes each day, it can help you stay present, reduce anxiety, and improve your ability to handle stress.
Deep breathing exercises: Incorporate deep breathing exercises into your daily routine. When you feel stressed, take a few minutes to focus on your breath, inhaling and exhaling slowly to calm your nervous system. You can also learn and practice progressive muscle relaxation techniques to release physical tension. This involves systematically tensing and relaxing different muscle groups.
Effective Time Management:
Use time management techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix to categorize tasks into four quadrants (urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, neither urgent nor important). Focus on the important tasks and delegate or eliminate the rest.
Pomodoro Technique: Break your workday into intervals (e.g., 25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break). This can boost productivity and prevent burnout.
Set yourself some boundaries by clearly define your working hours and stick to them. Avoid over-committing or taking on too much work that leads to excessive stress.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices:
As discussed above, take a walk each day, or maybe your company has an onsite gym that you can use? Exercise releases endorphins, which can reduce stress and boost your mood.
Maintain a balanced diet with a focus on whole foods. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, as they can lead to energy crashes and increased stress. Also try to ensure that you get enough quality sleep each night. Sleep is crucial for mental and physical well-being, and it can significantly impact your stress levels.
Get up Earlier:
First thought: no thanks. Although this prospect is a slightly miserable one to consider at first glance, getting up earlier can vastly improve your mindset for the day ahead. Just an extra 15 or 20 minutes makes an enormous amount of difference – it allows you to wake up properly, take the time to prepare a more varied and nutritious breakfast, and gives you a little extra time to gather your thoughts and belongings together. Organising your outfit the night beforehand gives you more freedom to take your time getting ready, and ensures that you won’t have to rush around looking for emergency socks come the morning. You could even indulge in a quick look at the travel news in your area, thus dodging irritating traffic jams, or just have one more cup of tea while you unflappably double check you have everything. You’ll arrive at work feeling ready, relaxed, prepared and alert.
If you have an interesting strategy for making your working days happier, we’d love to hear from you – do please leave your tips, comments and stories below!
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