In today’s 24/7 always-on life, stress is often depicted as an emotional roller coaster you can’t escape. But it’s important to note that it’s not public enemy #1. Everyone could use just the right amount of stress to stay in the zone, be on your toes at all times, and have the capability to meet new and exciting challenges in your career.
Stress is what motivates you to ace that presentation, or to stay alert and prevent accidents or costly mistakes. So, what kind of stress crosses the line?
WHAT DOES BAD STRESS LOOK LIKE?
Here are common causes of excessive work stress:
1. Fear of being laid off or fired;
2. More overtime due to staff cutbacks;
3. Pressure to meet rising expectations without job satisfaction;
4. Pressure to work at optimum levels—all the time!;
5. Lack of control over how you do your work
HOW DOES EXCESSIVE WORK STRESS AFFECT YOU?
Excessive work stress can create a devastating impact on your productivity and performance, oftentimes affecting your physical and mental health. According to the American Psychological Association, “Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system,” among a slew of other debilitating health conditions.
It’s common to find different people, no matter what occupation they hold, dealing with all these pressures in unhealthy ways. From overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes, or abusing drugs and alcohol.
The question is: is there a way to maintain your focus throughout your 9 to 5 (and even through the overtime hours you clock)? Is it possible to do everything that needs to get done and still have enough energy to date, socialize, or bond with your family?
How do you keep calm?
8 HEALTHY WAYS TO MANAGE STRESS AT THE OFFICE
As appealing as an exit strategy that leads straight to Siargao is, it’s not exactly a feasible option for everyone. So if you’re looking for ways to manage stress that doesn’t involve trains, planes, or automobiles, here are 8 things you can do for yourself—right in the office:
1. BREAK PROJECTS INTO SMALL PARTS
Anticipation is the ultimate weapon against stress. So, 1) schedule tasks to cut back on unwanted procrastination, 2) prioritize work that needs immediate attention (and save less important things for later), and 3) set personal deadlines everyday to keep you moving towards your goals.
2. DIGITAL DETOXING HELPS YOU STAY IN PRESENT
You’re already bombarded with meetings, multiple emails, and urgent deadlines 24/7. For your own sake, put your phone out of sight (and out of mind!) to focus on a hard deadline. Fewer distractions allow you process and store information easier. Are colleagues constantly contacting you via Viber or WhatsApp? Be sure to download all those apps on your laptop instead, so that you’re only focused on one screen.
3. START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT
Manila traffic is hell. That’s why many people come in already stressed and more reactive to stress at work. But if you start off the day with good nutrition, proper planning, and a positive attitude, you may find the stress of the workplace rolling off your back more easily.
WE LOVE: Lifestyle Gourmet Tropical Granola (250g), P225
4. WALK AT LUNCH TIME
Many people are feeling ill effects from leading a sedentary lifestyle. One way you can combat that while managing work stress is to get some exercise during your lunch break. This can help you blow off steam, lift your mood, meditate, and even get into better shape. We’d suggest lugging a cute and sturdy tumbler with you for some good ol’ hydration!
WE LOVE: Aladdin Café Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug (16oz), P1,650
5. DON’T SKIMP ON GETTING PROPER SLEEP
Getting your recommended 7-8 hours is crucial for your productivity. To slip into a sounder sleep, be sure to turn away from any blue LED light sources before bedtime. And if you want to be extra rested, get help from your tita-approved essential oils!
WE LOVE: Escents PH Sleep Well Synergy Blends Roll-On, P300
6. IT’S NOT JUST CHEESY SPIRITUAL ADVICE: MEDITATION HELPS!
A few minutes of deep breathing helps you restore balance the way a 90-minute yoga class might. Simply inhale for five seconds, hold, and exhale in equal counts through the nose. For ambient guided meditation, try phone apps like Headspace!
7. TAKE TIME TO RECHARGE WITH HEALTHY ENERGY-POWERED SNACKS
Who here has been personally victimized by the midday slump? Sometimes, it’s just that hard to power through an entire day on your own. Thank god for nutritious alternatives to energy drinks and sugar-packed junk food! They give us the boost we need, minus the crash.
WE LOVE: Veganola PH Almond Energy Bites (Tub of 20), P340
8. YOU’RE NOT ALONE; CONTACT YOUR LOVED ONES FOR SUPPORT
If you’re facing a rough time at work, remember to reach out to your friends. Put your mom and dad on speed dial. Ask advice from your siblings. At the end of the day, the only way to survive this rat race is to resume control over your stress, before it takes you over. Don’t forget to breathe!
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