We’re bringing you these stress hacks as part of stress awareness month – now, while it’s certainly true that remote working can help support a better work-life balance it doesn’t mean that it eliminates all stress from the working day.
These are stressful times; many of us have seen our anxiety spike through the pandemic and the increased isolation that lockdowns have created. That’s why we’ve taken some time to pull together some of the best ways to destress at work, they won’t all work for everyone but hopefully, there is something in this list that will make your life a little calmer.
3 Quick Stress Hacks
We all know the feeling, there’s an impending deadline, a key team member has just seen that second pink line and you can see your next sprint being derailed. You feel yourself tensing up when you need to be thinking clearly. These tips will show you how to destress in 10 minutes:
Go for a Walk
Getting outside for a walk around the block has many health benefits; there’s the fresh air and exercise combination but if you’re able to get to where you can see green, you’ll also lower your blood pressure.
Studies have also shown that taking a walk can help boost mental sharpness, so just getting outside may help you come up with a solution to the problem that’s stressing you out.
A Quick Workout
Similar anxiety life hacks are putting in a quick ten-minute workout. That’s enough time to put in a quick HIIT workout, if that’s your poison, but anything that gets you up and moving will help, even if that’s a kitchen disco or a quick trip to the VR gym.
Chat to a Coworker
The key to de-stressing at work is to create a change of pace for yourself and your mind, and one way to do that is to reach out to a colleague – but put the problem off the agenda.
Let your subconscious mind stew on the cause of your anxiety and just take a minute to check in with someone and see how they are doing. ‘Take your mind off it’ is an old adage when it comes to dealing with problems, but it can really help – and this hack will also help you and your co-worker feel more connected which increases wellbeing. Win-win!
3 Habits for Lower Stress
Moving past the quick fixes for those flash moments of anxiety, if you’re constantly wondering how to get through the workday, you need to change some things up to give you a longer-term solution.
These tips will help you with chronic stress and build up your resilience and wellbeing:
Although it’s been practised for thousands of years it was only in 2014 that the first studies showed that meditation could help with depression, anxiety, and even pain. Since then, the idea of meditation has become more widespread and accepted, and you can now download any number of apps that will guide you through daily meditation.
Find some time in your day for a regular 10-minute distress meditation and see how it helps you.
If you have a lot on your plate, then taking some time out at the beginning or end of every day to plan what needs to get done next can be a big help.
Your company may have a project management tool, but for some people, it’s easier to separate out their personal responsibilities from the milieu using an analogue technique like Bullet Journaling. If you’re creative then decorating your journal can become a part of your stress management as well.
If you haven’t come across the term before you might think this just means clean sheets and PJs, but it actually relates to good sleep patterns.
Getting enough good quality sleep is one of those anxiety hacks that sounds a lot easier than it is. If your mind is running at 90 miles per hour all night, it’s tough to sleep. But having good sleep hygiene is about more than that. It’s setting regular sleep and wake-up times, letting your body know it’s morning by going outside as soon as possible and avoiding using electronics before bedtime to avoid the negative impact of blue light.
3 De-Stress at Work Hacks
What can you do if you’re working as part of a team where stress has become accepted as ‘part of the job’? Where even if you calm yourself down, you’re constantly picking up the stress and anxiety of your colleagues.
Here are some stress hacks to keep yourself as calm as you can be in a hectic environment:
Understand the Triggers
Keep a stress diary, where you make a note of what situations are triggering your anxiety. You might start to notice a pattern, such as when deadlines are tight, when you’re about to go to an important meeting or give a presentation, or when you feel that you aren’t in control of a situation.
It’s more difficult if the stress is triggered by a particular person, unless you’re able to manage who you work with.
Use the Quick Stress Hacks
Scroll back up to our list of quick stress hacks above and make a note of the ones that you could use to help you rebalance when you start to feel tense. Whether it’s nipping out for a quick walk or grabbing a coffee with a co-worker, if it makes things more manageable then it’s a good technique.
Strategize to Minimize Stress
Take a good look at your stress diary and see if there are any mitigations you can put in place to keep life calmer. If tight deadlines are an issue for you, does it help if you have a strategy for if you don’t hit them? If it is feeling a lack of control, perhaps it’s time to have a chat with your boss about taking on more responsibility.
If there’s a particular co-worker who causes you stress, think about what it is about their behaviour that does that? It might be something you can address with them directly, or time to pass it on to management.
Take Advantage of Working from Home
One of the beauties of working from home is that you can avoid a lot of the stresses of working in an office, like the commute or getting stuck in water-cooler chat with Dan from accounts who want to talk about his weekend golfing.
Being at home you have more flexibility to take five, whether it’s enjoying your favorite snack, or hot camomile tea or just step outside and see some green. We hope that these stress hacks have been useful, and wish you all a remarkably chilled Stress Awareness Month!