Happy National Mental Health Awareness Month! Mental health is incredibly important to leading a healthy life and should not be neglected. A sound mind and a sound body are both necessary for good health.
Workplace stress is something everyone with a job has to deal with, and if you aren't careful, it can take a serious toll on your mental health as well as your work performance. We here at T|W Tote have some tips for you on how to reduce and manage the stress you get at work.
1. Form good relationships at work. Interact with your coworkers at lunch instead of staying at your desk or burying your face in your phone. Talk about your stress with them, or take your mind off the stress by talking about something different.
2. Remember what is and what isn't in your control, so you don't have to worry about the consequences. If you can fix it, there's no need to worry. If you can't, there's no need to worry.
Build good habits
3. Get some exercise. Try using a standing desk, go for walks during lunch, and take short breaks every hour to get up and stretch.
4. Eat healthy foods and snacks. Food is our fuel and medicine, so it affects how you'll feel during the day, physically and mentally.
5. Get enough sleep. Avoid too much caffeine or you won't be able to get to sleep at night. Without enough sleep, you'll be tired and cranky throughout the day, and stressed because you aren't getting enough work done. Make sure you're able to wind down at night with enough time to get 7-8 hours of sleep.
6. Journal about your stressors. Write down how you reacted to the situation that stressed you out, and figure out what you can do to change it.
7. Learn to relax with meditation techniques like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. One that I find helpful is the 4-7-8 technique. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7, and breathe out for 8. This helps reverse the fight-or-flight response in our bodies which will allow us to calm down.
8. Manage your negative thoughts. Recognize when you're having negative thoughts and work to spin them around. Your thoughts and feelings lead your actions, so work to make them positive. Look for alternatives to the negative ideas you're having. If you think of a negative "What if?" spin it around into a positive one, or simply ask, "What if not?"
9. Organize your goals before working on them. Understand your work priorities and what you need to work on, and devise a plan on how you'll achieve your goals.
10. Don't try to multitask. Our brains can't do it; they can only switch focus between tasks. Focus on one task at a time for maximum productivity.
11. Improve your time management skills. Whether you need to create a stricter schedule or wake up earlier to get more done in the morning, figure out what will work for you and implement it.
12. Achieve a work-life balance that works for you. Accept that you may not be able to divide work and play evenly, but you can still find a balance that leaves you feeling fulfilled day to day. We'll talk more about this in the next post, so come back in two weeks for that one.
We hope these tips help you lower or prevent your stress at work so you can live a healthier, and more fulfilling life.
Let us know which of these tips you choose to work on in the comments!