In the past two years, the lockdown has meant working from home. We have managed to make our own spaces, figure out our boundaries and work at maximum productivity. Now with offices opening up, the stress of going back to work has taken over us again.
Whether that’s the environment, excessive workloads, team conflicts or monotonous work, we all stand at the junction of work stress sometimes. While some amount of stress is okay to move ahead, a lot of it can have a debilitating impact on us. Stress can lead to low performance, high blood pressure, substance abuse, anxiety, and even a lowered immune system!
Here are a few tips to manage stress at work:
Keep Stressors In Check:Sometimes we feel we are out of control when really we are not able to recognise our surrounding conflicts. It can feel scary to be in that place. When you do feel that way, think of all the stressors (deadlines, conflicts, meetings, colleagues, events, etc.) that are coming in your way. Make a note of them. You could also go ahead and make it based on a hierarchy of what’s stressing you out the most to what’s not that stressful.
Organise:Organisation could be key to feeling less stressful. A study states that having a messy desk can mean higher stress levels, and can even lead to strained relationships with colleagues. If you feel stressed out in your workplace, start with putting some things in your surroundings or on your desk in order.
If you feel like having things in order makes you work better, go a step further and organise your timetable too! Think of all the things that are in your control and give it particular slots in the day. Make it colourful and aesthetic if it helps. (Google Calendar might help here!)
Boundaries:Another step to organising would be setting strong boundaries. If you feel like time just passes in the workplace, it’s hard for you to concentrate or find it hard to be productive because of your surroundings, set boundaries!
Whether that’s saying no for a few small breaks, or having some time where you avoid interactions with others in order to focus, it might be a good idea to have lines drawn. They can also be more like the ones you had while working from home.
Communicate:If you are wondering how you can say ‘no’ to people, the answer is to communicate. Let your colleagues know why you are setting boundaries. Communicate your stressors and how you plan on managing it. Communication might also mean more help or advice from them to work better!
If you feel like your colleagues don’t particularly understand you, have people on speed dial who do. Talking to your loved ones about your stressors might allow you to have a third perspective and think clearly. If you feel like it is getting too hard to communicate, do seek professional help and talk to a counsellor.
Take breaks!When you are at work, you might feel the need to complete everything so you can go back home and relax. I agree, it’s helpful to have that work-life balance. But, don’t pressure yourself to work without breaks in the 7-8 hours of office. Take 5-10 minute breaks if and when you need it.
Step out for a bit.Get some air, something to eat, and/or some greenery if possible. If talking to colleagues or your loved ones help, get on call at this time too. Use methods like the Pomodoro technique that allows for a mindful break after minutes of focused work!
Take Self-Care seriously.
Self-care could be candles at night, a hot bath, morning runs or taking all your meds on time. In addition, we made a box for you that can help you understand yourself better. This has 5 different activities for mental and physical awareness!