Decreasing Work Stress Part II

In Part I I gave three tips to decrease work stress: wake up on time, eat lunch, and learn to say “no”. Here are a few additional tips to help you achieve greater ease in your workday.

4. Take care of yourself physically and mentally.

When stress at work interferes with your ability to perform well in your job, start by paying attention to your physical and emotional health. When your own needs are taken care of, you’re stronger and more resilient to stress. The better you feel, the more equipped you’ll be to manage work stress without becoming overwhelmed.

Taking care of you doesn’t require a total lifestyle overhaul. Even small things can improve your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel like you’re back in the driver’s seat. Ever hike up that trail near your home/work? How about getting a massage? Buy yourself flowers. Soak your feet.

Now is a great time to consider when you last had a physical. Is there a need for some extra emotional support from a counselor, therapist, or other related professional? If you sense you need assistance, consider scheduling to see a provider. As you make more positive lifestyle choices, you’ll soon notice a reduction in your stress levels.

  1. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

exercise picRegular exercise is a powerful stress reliever, even though it may be the last thing you feel like doing. Aerobic exercise—activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat—is a highly effective way to lift your mood, increase energy, sharpen focus, and relax both the mind and body. For maximum stress relief, try to get at least 30 minutes of heart-pounding activity on most days. If it’s easier to fit into your schedule, break up the activity into two or three shorter segments.

Consider supplementing aerobic exercise with a calming, perhaps strengthening activity, such as yoga or tai chi. Get rid of the ear buds and spend quiet time rejuvenating.

  1. Healthy food choices vegetables

Low blood sugar can make you feel anxious and irritable, while eating too much can make you weak. Healthy eating can help you get through stressful work days. By eating small but frequent meals, you can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar, keep your energy up, stay focused, and avoid mood swings. Talk to a doctor, dietitian or nutritionist for specific food recommendations.

  1. Get enough sleep

Not only can stress and worry cause a lack of sleep, but it can leave you vulnerable to even more stress. When you’re well-rested, it’s much easier to keep your emotional balance, a key factor in coping with workplace stress. Try to improve the quality of your sleep by going to bed at a set time and strive for 8 hours a night. And remember to wake up on time. Check out fellow colleague Aubrie’s post Drained? for more tips on managing energy.

  1. Decrease job stress by breaking bad habits 

Many of us make job stress worse with negative thoughts and behaviors. By turning around these self-defeating habits, you’ll find work stress easier to handle.

  • Resist perfectionism. No project, situation, or decision is ever perfect, so trying to attain perfection will simply add unnecessary stress to your life. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself or try to do too much, you’re setting yourself up to fall short. Aim to do your best, knowing no one can ask for more.
  • Flip your negative thinking. If you see the downside of every situation and interaction, you’ll find yourself drained of energy and motivation. Try to think positively about your work, avoid negative-thinking co-workers, and reward yourself for small accomplishments. If it is difficult to change your thinking patterns, consider reading “Feeling Good” by Dr. David Burns for thought changing techniques.
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things at work are beyond our control, particularly the behaviors of others. Rather than stressing out over these, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.

Feel good that you took the time to read through these posts. You are likely serious about wanting to make changes and I applaud you for this. Consider scheduling a plan where you adopt at least one tip that addresses each section above. You can incorporate more at a time that feels comfortable. Lifestyle changes don’t happen quickly for most people. Just like getting into an exercise routine, in time you will accomplish regularity with your chosen activities.


andreaking482014Andrea Killion, MS, NCC, MCC
Careerful Counseling Services

Andrea assists clients in successfully achieving rewarding employment. She works with a diverse array of adults from all industries, backgrounds and stages. Whether you are looking for work, trying to figure out what career to pursue, or unsure whether to stay in your current position, Andrea can assist you with these issues and more.


, , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: