While it’s normal to experience some stress at work, excessive stress and anxiety is unhealthy and proven to negatively affect your performance at work. Here are our Top Tips for staying calm at work.
1. Healthy body, healthy mind
Look after your body, stay hydrated and don’t stay up until the middle of the night. If you allow your body to rest, you will feel far more alert and equipped to handle stressful situations at work.
Get moving – although it might be the last thing that you feel like doing when you’re suffering from stress, activities that raise your heart rate are proven to relieve anxiety. 30 minutes a day of walking, swimming, cycling or even playing ping-pong can lift your mood, improve your focus and make you more resilient to stress.
Positive thinking is also a powerful tool. When you find your work piling up on your desk and you don’t know where to start, focus on how you CAN do it, not on why you can’t. Negative thinking and finding the downside to everything will only cause you to feel drained of energy and motivation. You will be surprised how much a positive ‘can do’ attitude will help your performance at work. Leicester won the league after all!
2. Mess = stress
A tidy and organised work environment assists towards a well-managed workload. Organising your desk, keeping on-top of your emails and working with online task management systems such as ‘Producteev’ or ‘Slack’ will help clear your mind, desk and highlight specifically any areas that require your attention.
3. Take a moment to relax
Nothing relieves stress better that momentarily removing yourself from the situation. Make a cup of tea, get some fresh air or take a walk around the workspace.
Our office dog Woody is a great stress reliever. Studies show that playing or petting an animal can decrease stress as it increases levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol.
By taking a moment to remain calm, you can then re-approach the situation with a fresh perspective.
4. Manage your time
A large contributor towards feeling stressed is the feeling of being out of control. Grab your work by the horns and organise your situation. Make a note of everything that is outstanding, divide your time and assign your work accordingly. I’ve learnt that the time spent worrying is far better spent just cracking on. Once you’ve organised your workload, there is no better feeling than crossing things off your to-do list!
5. Communicate with your colleagues
Communication is key! If you feel like you have too much on your plate and you’re fighting an unrealistic deadline, communicate with your colleagues and they might be able to relieve your stress by taking something off your hands.
Miscommunication is also a prime cause of stress, if you feel that a situation or task isn’t being communicated clearly, ask questions and make suggestions until you feel that everything is clear and everyone is on the same page. Don’t feel like asking lots of questions undermines your ability either, it shows you’re committed to getting the job done correctly.
When you’re feeling stressed at work, it’s important to remember that it’s completely normal and it happens to everyone. (Even if some do always look calm and collected). Just take control of your situation and make a change!
Written by Harriet Gisbourne