Stress is a normal part of everyone’s life at work and outside it too. It does tend to flare up more at work because we have deadlines to meet, high expectations from our bosses or issues that arise out of nowhere.
This is all perfectly normal, however, when stress at work turns into excessive stress, that’s when it becomes a problem. Multiple studies have shown that excess stress can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, increased blood pressure, chest pains, and also insomnia. These are things that nobody wants. With that in mind, we’ve created a list of 7 strategies to help decrease your stress at work.
1. Prioritize What’s Important
Knowing how to prioritize your tasks affects the success of your work and the probability of getting stressed at work. To start, you can put together a list of all the things you need to get done during the day and identify which tasks are a top priority. Classify them by urgent, not urgent but important, important, and neither urgent nor important.
Start with the urgent ones and then work on the less important tasks that may not have a specific deadline. If you can’t go through everything on your list, don’t worry! Create another list the next day and make sure to include what you couldn’t finish before.
If you work on everything at once but don’t prioritize your tasks and time, you’re bound to lower your level of effectiveness and increase your chances of being stressed at work. Keep in mind: the key is to not concentrate on how busy you are, instead concentrate on the results!
2. Forget Multitasking
Multitasking used to be portrayed as the best strategy to finish all your tasks on time. But that’s not the case anymore. When we switch from one task to another, we waste time getting up to speed and you’re likely to get distracted by thinking about the fact you haven’t really finished what you were doing before. Rather than multitasking, try to focus on one project at a time, it’ll help increase your overall productivity.
3. Avoid Interruptions
Receiving emails, phone calls, and social media messages can certainly make you lose focus. If you’re constantly getting distracted, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to finish your tasks before the deadline, and this will increase your stress levels. When sitting at your desk, try to mute your cell phone (or even put it in a desk drawer), close messaging apps, and only read ultra-urgent emails. The more you focus on what you’re doing in the present moment, the faster you’ll finish it which leads to decreased stress.
4. Learn Breathing Techniques
Breathing techniques are also useful if you aren’t allowed to take breaks that often. A nice technique is the belly breathing not just because it’s easy but also because it makes you feel relaxed very quickly. You just need to sit in a comfortable position, put one hand on your belly and the other one on your chest. Take deep breaths in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out without moving your chest. Do this breathing exercise at least 3-5 times at your own pace and you’ll feel more relaxed and ready to work on your tasks again.
5. Plan Regular Breaks
It’s extremely important that you set time aside to take breaks throughout the day. You can either go for a walk outside, move around the office, or go to the kitchen for a snack. If you spend your whole day sitting at your desk looking at the screen, you’ll easily get tired and start to be less productive. Little breaks help us to refresh and recharge which makes us feel happier and less stressed at work.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can cause problems both in your personal and work life. Not having a good night’s sleep can make it hard for you to concentrate at work because you’re likely to feel fatigued, irritated, or demotivated. If you’re the kind of person that has difficulties falling asleep, there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep like avoiding caffeine and alcohol at least two hours before bed, taking a hot shower or practicing meditation. Remember: the better you sleep, the more productive you’ll be!
7. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Believe it or not, what you eat on a daily basis can seriously influence your stress levels. The reason is simple: the amount of quality nutrients you take impacts your body’s neural circuit that controls certain emotions, motivation, and even your mood. This is why it’s crucial to pay attention to what you eat, especially when you’re feeling down or stressed at work. Make sure you include plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy snacks such as nuts and seeds like almonds and pistachios. Also, avoid eating junk food at all costs.
Last but not least, if you feel like your job and stress at work is too overwhelming, it may be time to change jobs and try a new environment, a different company culture, and meet new people. Don’t be afraid of leaving your current company and venturing off to try new things. We’re sure that your perfect job is out there, maybe you just haven’t found it yet. Take a look at Hosco’s job opportunities from across the hospitality world and start applying today!