You’re short staffed at work. The boss just asked you to work late on Friday. That looming deadline is fast approaching. You’re late to the office … again. All these scenarios feed the vicious beast that is workplace stress.
Job-related stress is a growing epidemic in the U.S. According to a survey by the American Psychology Association, 52 percent of workers consider their work life more stressful than their home life, and 62 percent of American adults suffer from stress-induced chronic health problems. Given the alarming statistics, it’s no wonder that our country needs a National Stress Awareness Day.
This national awareness day, which falls on April 16 this year, serves as a reminder to take a deep breath and relax. Easier said than done for many professionals. Yet it’s advice worth heading since prolonged, high stress at work – and home – can lead to serious health problems and even a shorter lifespan. If deep breathes aren’t going to cut it, give some or all of these stress-reducers a try.
Tips to Cope with Stress
Learn better time management. Properly managing your time in the office can go a long way in lowering your stress level. Take time to plan out each day and make a to-do list of the tasks that need to be completed. Put up a “Do not disturb sign” up when you’re really busy. Avoid distractions such as social media and non-urgent emails and calls. Instead, delegate time to responding to emails, return calls, and engaging with social media (if it’s required for your job).
Eat well. Many people seek comfort in food when their stress level increases. However, unhealthy foods and beverages high in sugar, fat, and caffeine increase the stress hormone cortisol. Instead of a candy bar, nibble a piece of dark chocolate — one of the most potent endorphin-boosting foods on the planet. Eat a handful of nuts, which are packed with cortisol-busting magnesium. Reach for foods rich in complex carbohydrates to increase serotonin levels.
Schedule a massage. A deep tissue massage can reduce blood pressure by up to seven points, and decreasing your blood pressure can add six years to your life. It also helps to relax muscles, lower your heart rate, increase endorphins, and slow breathing – all of which help decrease symptoms of stress.
Get active. Go for a run, enjoy a swim, or just take a walk around your office building. According to the Mayo Clinic, just about any type of exercise acts as a stress reliever by pumping up endorphins, improving your mood, and allowing you to sleep better.
Regardless of what’s stressing you out, on April 16, take some time to try one of these tips or something else that relieves the tension. Then consider making it a daily or weekly habit. Stress may be a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to over take yours.