Are you stressed out and stressed out about being stressed out? A lot of people are riding in the same boat as you, but it’s time to abandon the stress boat now! Maybe a little stress seems harmless, but a study published in Current Opinion in Psychiatry found otherwise. After performing a comprehensive review of studies on anxiety, fear, and stress, researchers concluded that not only are these feelings keeping you tossing and turning at night, but they may also cause problems in your metabolic and cardiovascular systems. In turn, those issues can cause brain damage and lead to depression and a high likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease. If you just get an occasional jolt of stress when you’re trying to finish a big assignment or when you’re getting ready for an interview, that’s okay. Short-term stress is common. But if you find yourself consistently stressed day after day, it’s time for an intervention.
Check out some of these tips for being less stressed on the job:
1. Leave home earlier
if you usually find yourself in a rush in the morning, start your day off right by getting going a little sooner than normal. You’ll have a better chance of having a more relaxed day if you start off by getting into work a few minutes early and having time to settle in before diving head first into your assignments.
2. Make a plan.
Sit down at the beginning of your workday and decide what you want to accomplish. You’ll feel successful when you cross things off the list, even if it’s something small like remembering to reply to someone’s email. Give yourself some credit when you cross off major projects, and maybe take yourself out for an extra-delicious lunch to celebrate a job well done. At the end of the day, review what you’ve accomplished and start to think about how you can get more done the next day or how you can better plan for the rest of the week.
3. Tackle big projects first.
Your brain is fresh, you haven’t started to feel burned out yet, and maybe you even dreamed up some new ideas overnight. If you can get your biggest assignments and projects done first thing, you won’t have them casting a shadow on the rest of your day!
4. Bring snacks.
Don’t let your blood sugar drop down and leave you feeling lethargic. Dedicate a desk drawer to some healthy snacks for when you start aching for a pick-me-up. Protein bars, dried fruit, nuts, juice boxes, and pretzels all make great snacks for a quick boost.
5. Take breaks.
No matter how much you have to do, you need a break every once in a while. They don’t have to be long breaks, just enough to get your mind refreshed and ready to get going again. Set a reminder on your computer that goes off a couple of times a day and then take 15 minutes to scroll through Pinterest and plan dinner that night, take a quick walk around the building, or whatever other activity will let your mind relax for a minute. You might be tempted to work right through your lunch break, but take a little bit of time to enjoy eating and take your eyes off the computer screen.
6. Socialize with your coworkers.
Not only will engaging in conversation with your coworkers each day give you an extra social boost, it will expose you to collaborative projects and fresh ideas. Grabbing lunch with a few coworkers or suggesting a friendly fitness challenge for everyone to engage in can help build positive relationships.
7. Improve your workspace.
You spend a lot of time at your desk; make it a space you enjoy. Put up a couple of pictures of your family, your friends, a dream travel destination, or a favorite furry friend to remind you why you work so hard every day. A small office plant or some colorful desk decorations can make your workspace a little more inviting and a happier place to spend your time every day. If your workplace allows, put on some headphones and play some mood-boosting music to help you stress a little less about your job.