You know the feeling; you’re snappy, constantly run down you keep searching for that good night of sleep that seems to evade you every single night. You’re stressed and work is the culprit.
There is no doubt with increasing pressure on employees to work longer hours and managers to be more productive, stress is affecting our lives on a daily basis. Stress can not only be frustrating and concerning but also affects all areas of our lives, not only work.
According to Amanda Daley founder of fuelurbanwellness.com and author of Time Poor, Rich Health the daily grind is a major contributing factor to our general health and wellness.
‘Stress is predominately bought on in the body from ‘perceptions of stress’ – our fear of what could happen if something went wrong. And when running our own business or as we climb higher up the ranks, we feel there is more to lose (and more people to keep happy), so the perception of stress increases.’
Daley says it is these perceptions that bring on stress and in turn impact our health. The more we stress the less we find take ‘time out’ for things such as family and friends, healthy diet and exercise. “All of these factors decrease as hours increase leading to health issues which cause stress along with emotional resentment, anger and frustration – all of which create stress in the body as well.”
Taking time out for these things is important to get our body back into balance and allow us to deal with our perceptions of stress in a calmer manner. But what else, apart from jumping on a plane and heading to the tropics, can we do to tackle stress on a daily basis?
Here are Amanda Daley’s top five tips.
Deep belly breaths
Deep breathing calms you down both physically and mentally, and allows you to think clearly and put things into perspective. Take a time out in the bathroom cubicle to concentrate on your breathing.
A cup of herbal tea such as Camomile has an instant calming affect rather than caffeine which fires up our adrenaline adding further stress to our bodies.
Express the stress
Expressing your stress and emotions verbally in a healthy way (i.e. not aimed at colleagues or employees!), is an effective way to manage stress levels. Chatting to a counsellor or simply journaling your thoughts at the end of the day can work wonders.
Shake it off
Stress builds up as tension in our body and we can literally shake it off (perhaps something to do in the bathroom along with the deep breathing!) Also build some of form exercise into your daily routine.
Let it go
Learning to properly let go of the stress each night so it doesn’t build up, including a good night’s sleep
While workplace stress is a very real problem it is ultimately our responsibility to take care of ourselves so that we can deal with it healthily and continue to perform at our best.
This article first appeared at Women’s Agenda.