Work, home life, money matters, health, time – or rather the lack of; in today’s fast paced world, our constant juggling of responsibilities can put huge stress on our body and mind. It isn’t unusual for the stress in our work life to increase the stress in our home life and vice versa. In recent years, we have seen a greater focus on mental health, anxiety and stress in the workplace. In fact, I have had the pleasure of supporting this first hand with my popular corporate nutritional therapy plans. By educating businesses about the power of food and performing workplace detoxes, employers have been making the conscious decision to support their employees from the inside out. Of course a healthy diet is only one way to help manage stress at work. With National Stress Awareness Day just around the corner (the first Wednesday in November) I want to take the opportunity to share some easy and enormously beneficial techniques to manage stress at work.
Recognise What Causes Stress at Work
In an article by Forbes earlier this year, Jeff Buenrostro refers to stress as the phantom issue in the workplace, a thing you can neither see nor hear but that will be the catalyst to a company’s downfall. It is true; in pushing employees beyond their limits of stress management, business is bound to take a hit. When you are struggling to deal with stress in the workplace, the first thing to do is pinpoint where that stress is coming from. Take 10-15 minutes to make a list of the things that are causing you stress at work. Writing down problems can be hugely beneficial since we write slower than we think, therefore it forces us to take time thinking about one problem at a time rather than an angry fireball of stress.
Make a List to Manage Stress in the Workplace
Unfortunately, stress makes prioritising tasks difficult and we might find ourselves taking on ten things at once and chaining ourselves to the office desk. This approach only increases our stress levels at work and reduces our productivity. Let’s go back to our loyal list-making. Create a list with each task you can manage in your working day – even the small ones. Each time a task is completed, put a tick or cross out the task. Recognising your achievements is a really important step in being able to manage stress at work.
Take Tea Breaks to Manage Stress at Work
After finishing a task or at least each hour, take a short walk outside or to the kitchen to make a drink. Give yourself a change of scenery. Stepping away from your desk allows your brain some breathing space – which you have earned! This small break better prepares you for the next task without going from one to the next. Similarly, if you find that you have hit a wall with a particular task, step away for 5 minutes and come back with a fresh head. In doing so, you are far more likely to find an alternative route around the problem, instead of wasting time unsuccessfully bulldozing the wall down.
Choose Good Food and Drink to Manage Stress in the Workplace
As a nutritional therapist, I have accrued a wealth of knowledge in understanding how food affects the body. Agitated at your desk, easily distracted, hit by the 3pm slump; there are lots of problems that small changes to your diet can target. When we don’t support our body with the right kind of fuel for the day, we aren’t able to work at our best. This only serves to increase our stress levels.
Eating regularly is important – that means not skipping on breakfast or lunch to make more time for work. Snacks can give us energy top ups during the day, but rather than chocolate and biscuits which cause a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar, consider nuts, seeds and fruits. Why not try some of my healthy snack recipes here? Keeping hydrated is also extremely important, and whilst it may be tempting to grab another coffee, caffeine will not do you any favours. Keep water up and try herbal teas instead!
Tidy Desk, Clear Mind
Mess is stress. The benefits of working from a tidy desk should come as no surprise. There is copious research into how a clean and tidy workplace affects levels of productivity and our ability to cope with a larger workload. Not everyone finds keeping a clean desk easy, but it is well worth starting or ending your day with 5 minutes of tidying. Bupa offers some great tips of keeping a tidy desk for a healthy mind in their blog.
Supporting employees is essential for a successful business. Stress is one of the biggest problems in the workplace but making changes to reduce it can be as easy as a tidy desk, a list - or a better diet. To learn more about my corporate nutritional therapy plans, visit my website, or get in touch today to make a real positive difference to your workplace.