With stay-at-home orders being lifted in various states across the US, many individuals are preparing to return to work in the office. However, it is essential for employees to reduce stress at work as much as possible to keep their immune system healthy. During COVID-19, it has become increasingly important for employees to practice social distancing and hand washing, but these techniques unfortunately cannot protect an individual from getting sick due to a high amount of stress or burnout. Harbor Light Hospice would like to offer suggestions of ways in which employees can reduce stress at work and enjoy positive lifestyle changes in the process.
8 Helpful Tips for Reducing Workplace Stress
Workplace stress can lead to several health issues, including weakened immunity and increased risk of heart disease. While some form of pressure at work is inevitable, there are many different strategies you can implement to combat workplace stress. Below are several ways in which an individual can reduce stress at work and achieve a better work-life balance:
1. Focus on One Thing at a Time
While multitasking may seem like a great way to accomplish tasks and receive praise from your employer, it can actually cause more stress, inefficiency, and lower quality of work. Instead, try to complete one task at a time. This means working on one task until it is completed or at a natural stopping point before switching to another, so your mind is focused and peaceful instead of trying to accomplish two things at once.
2. Prioritize Your Schedule
If you are assigned a task at the beginning of the day that you know will cause stress, complete that task before moving onto the next one if possible. This will allow you to take your mind off the tough task for the rest of the day instead of being mentally preoccupied and stressed during other tasks. Be sure to also properly schedule time for meals and form a to-do list to keep your schedule in order and give yourself time to relax.
3. Keep a Well-Organized Workspace
One of the greatest ways to reduce stress at work is to ensure your workspace is organized. Some of the worst things for your mental well-being at work is having cluttered paperwork or disorganized computer folders. By knowing exactly where everything is when you need to perform a task, you are setting yourself up for success and eliminating the worry involved with searching for a specific software or document.
4. Aim for Your Best, Not Perfection
It is important to understand that there is a difference between striving to perform your best and being a perfectionist. Most employers know that not everything can be done perfectly and on time. Therefore, by performing to the best of your ability and congratulating yourself on a job well done, it will increase both the quality of your work and job satisfaction. Additionally, your stress levels will significantly lower when you realize that perfectionism is a bad habit and unrealistic.
5. Establish Positive Relationships
To reduce your amount of stress at work, try establishing positive relationships with coworkers. Get to know the individuals you work with and share personal details (while being sure to stay away from workplace gossip). Though interpersonal conflict cannot always be avoided in the workplace, getting to know fellow employees better will allow you to form friendships and significantly lessen the chance of altercations.
6. Improve Your Diet
While coffee and a sugary breakfast may seem like the perfect start to your morning, it can actually make you more tired as the day progresses. Instead, grab something that is high in fiber and low in refined carbohydrates. Try to avoid fatty foods throughout the day, and substitute your favorite energy drink for a juice or better alternative. This way, you can receive the energy your body needs to complete an 8-hour workday and not feel exhausted afterwards.
7. Exercise More Often
A common misconception is that exercise will make you more tired; regular exercise can actually boost your morale and energy levels. Go for a walk during lunch, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and go for a jog or hit the treadmill when you get home. If possible, ask your employer about an adjustable desk, or one that can allow you to switch between sitting and standing. This will actually help you burn calories and significantly reduce the amount of physical stress placed on your body.
8. Strive for Better Sleep
Most of the above tips can promote better sleep at night. However, if you are still finding yourself struggling to get eight hours, ensure you are going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Try reading a book or turning off all devices at least one hour before you intend to sleep in order to wind down. If you are still unable to get enough sleep at night, allow yourself 15 to 20 minutes for a nap every day.
Download Our Free COVID-19 eBook Today
Looking to receive more information about reducing stress in the workplace? Harbor Light Hospice’s eBook will provide insight on eliminating the silent killer and implementing positive lifestyle changes. In addition, the free eBook will review a number of topics on how to deal with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 in the workplace. Get your free copy of Take Care of YOU: Practicing Self-Care in the Workplace by Roger Loomis of Harbor Light Hospice and learn how to reduce stress at work today!