5 Ways to Reduce Stress at Work
1. Set Realistic Goals
Having a really long to-do list can feel overwhelming, so take a good look and prioritise three things that you really have to do today.
Don’t set yourself up for failure and overwhelm. Having a really long list that you know you won't be able to manage will only stress you out.
Can you delegate any of the jobs on your list? Do the things that you are good at or enjoy the most, if possible, and then see if you can pass other tasks on to people who have different strengths you. This is particularly important if you are running your own business. Can you employ someone to update your website, keep track of your accounts or do your marketing and sales?
2. Be Kind to Yourself
What are you saying to yourself as you go through your day? Would you be saying this to a colleague or best friend? If it’s that negative, critical voice, imagine it as a little cartoon character. Give it a crazy body and a squeaky voice and shrink it. Imagine that it's still saying all those negative things but now they just sound ridiculous.
Now think about what you would say to a friend and the advice you would give to someone else that you love or care about. Maybe you have a positive person in your life who always supports you and gives you good advice. What would they say?
You might imagine someone in spirit, a guide or a guardian angel standing beside you. What are they saying? Can you create your own private cheerleader who will build you up rather than knocking you down?
There are always other people who will criticise you and knock your confidence, so why do it to yourself? You talk to yourself all day, whether you realise it or not, so make that inner voice a positive and uplifting one.
Take a deep breath all the way down to your tummy.
Breathe in for 7, hold for 5 and breathe out for 8.
Repeat this several times until you feel calmer.
Practise heart breathing. Focus on your heart and breathe into it. Think about the people you love and the things you love. Imagine that love filling your whole body.
4. Look After Your Body
Make sure you are eating well. Take a healthy lunch to work or, better still, go out and get something to eat.
Take regular breaks and get up and have a stretch during the day. You could even set an alarm to remind you to do this.
If possible, go for a walk at some point during the day. Do you have time for a walk at lunchtime, even if it's just around the block?
Scan from your head all the way down to your fingers and toes. Do you notice any tension anywhere in your body? Make an effort to stretch and then relax.
5. Review What Went Well
At the end of the day, think about what you achieved and what went well. Focus on that. Anything you didn’t get time to do can now wait. So, just make a note of what needs doing tomorrow and then leave it at your desk and switch off.
I advise many of my clients to keep a gratitude journal. Every evening, write down at least three things that went well. If you go to bed thinking of those rather than all the things that didn't go well, you go to sleep feeling much calmer and happier and wake up feeling more positive and inspired, rather than with that lurching anxiety.
If you'd like to speak to me about how I can help you feel calmer and more confident, please book a FREE 45-minute consultation