Stress can be super rough on the mind, body, and soul. Ever have one of those days where it feels like the sky is falling? You have countless things to do, and have no idea where to start? Yeah, that’s what every day at my job feels like. Even though the things I’m doing are “helping” others, the stress of it can potentially be harming me.
Having those days can create a lot of overwhelm and stress, however, you still need to figure out how to get shit done. It’s important to consider doing only what can be done that day—all while simultaneously managing other projects or cases.
There are many ways to overcome stress. Some more simple than others, some that can help instantaneously, and some that require a lengthy process and a great deal of time. The first step is trying to learn how to manage those mini episodes of tension.
Here are some helpful tips on how to manage stress at the office:
1. Take a deep breath
Deep breathing helps calm the body and also helps you center yourself. Because stress has the same effect on the body as the fight or flight response, your body is preparing itself for potential danger. Per Harvard University, deep breathing is a “relaxation response” that allows the body to fill with o2—this can slow your heart rate and normalize blood pressure.
Even if you need to step outside for a moment, engage in a breathing exercise and allow your lungs to expand. Take in all of the oxygen, and allow your body to feel the relaxation.
2. Put things into perspective
Remind yourself—of the positive reasons—why you’re doing your job. This will help you to put things into perspective, and allow your body and mind to process the reasons in which you continue to put up with this batshit crazy mess on a daily basis.
3. Stay Positive
You’re a baller. Remind yourself that you are good at your job. Sometimes we work on very challenging cases, with very challenging people. This can sometimes cause us to question our abilities and strengths. Remember how great you are at your job. If it will help, write down 5-10 reasons as to why you’re excellent at what you do—keep this in your desk, pocket, or purse so it is easily accessible.
4. Step back and assess the situation
Think: What about this is making me anxious? Is it time? Is it the number of tasks I need to get done? Is it because I cannot find a solution? Whatever it is, it’s okay. Take a step back and break it down.
5. Prioritize your biz
Break down your responsibilities. What is the most pressing item that needs to be completed. Which task has a deadline? Depending on where you work and what your responsibilities are, you know how to set priorities—basically, what is it that your company values and prefers to get taken care of first? You are capable of making smart decisions. You got this!
6. Time management
Set time limits. If you’ve prioritized the 7 million and 23 things you need to do, and there’s still too many things to manage in a single 8-hour shift, then you might want to consider setting time limits on each task. With this, if there are mini deadlines or specific planning that needs to be completed, you can arrange your time in a way that will allow for you to get to everything on your list.
7. Ask for help
Sometimes our colleagues may have less work to finish than we do. If considered appropriate in your office, reach out to ask if anyone has some extra time to either partner up with you, or completely take the task off of your hands. Even if this is only for a few hours, or to get you to the next step, anything is helpful.
8. Know when to stop
Just because we are scheduled for an 8-hour shit, doesn’t mean that you only stay those 8-hours. Sometimes I find myself doing plenty of overtime. This is okay sometimes, however, it should not become a regular thing. Remember that you need to take care of yourself. Spending all of your time working is not congruent with the idea of self-care
9. Do something for you
Whether this is a daily or weekly thing, make sure to engage in an activity that you enjoy. As mentioned above, self-care is VERY important. When you are able to care for your mind and body, you allow them to rest and revitalize. With this, when you return to work you will be refreshed and productive.
10. Make work-life balance a regular thing
Self-care is so important all the time, not only in times of stress. Maintaining a work-life balance should become a part of your lifestyle. Know when to say no. Know when enough is enough. Be aware of burnout, and make sure that your mind and body are provided with the care that they need.
Be kind to yourself. Make yourself the priority…