According to the CDC’s Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, between 29-40% of Americans report being extremely stressed at work. With the busy holiday season approaching and year-end deadlines looming, it’s important to find healthy stress-management techniques that promote self-care in the workplace. The most common sources of stress include physical discomfort, interpersonal conflict, multitasking, and disorganization. Below are some strategies to reduce the negative impacts of these stressors and make the workday more pleasant.
- Start the day off right – Mornings set the tone for the entire day. Be mindful of how you spend your time before you get to the office. Glance at your calendar, eat a nutritious breakfast, practice positive self-talk, and roll with the punches that your others might throw at you. Allowing each day to be a clean slate instead of carrying negative emotions into the day will go a long way in being proactive rather than reactive at work.
- Organize your environment –Can you see your desktop? Is your work truck full of trash? Are you noticing a strange, stale odor? If so, it’s time to spruce up. Taking a few minutes each morning to tidy your space reduces distractions and allows your work to flow more smoothly.
- Be comfortable – Think about your working environment. Do you sit in the same chair all day every day? Would investing in a lumbar support pillow help you out? If you’re on your feet all day, do you make space to take breaks and sit down? What is the level of noise in your workspace? Can you play light music in the background or use a white noise machine to tune out a loud office? Consider your personal comfort and take small steps to honor what makes you feel good in your space.
- Honor your lunch break – Too many of us bring our lunch to our desks or forget to eat entirely. It’s important to take the breaks that you have. For many, the lunch break is the only option that allows for some amount of movement. Make it a goal to take a walk each day and think about things that are not related to work. Alternatively, if your job requires you to be on your feet all day, turn lunch into a restful time by bringing a book, journaling your thoughts, or calling a friend or loved one.
- Listen to music on your drive home – listening to music is a great way to let go of the day’s stressors. It’s important to leave work at work and give yourself time to be with your own thoughts. Listening to music can help jolt you into your ‘you space’ and prepare you to engage with the world outside of work.
As the holiday season inches nearer and life becomes even busier, we hope you employ these strategies to practice self-care. To help you further, check out our other free resources designed with you in mind!