Currently stress is a constant in the lives of many people, especially due to work demands. And those of us who work in offices are not exempt from it. Long hours of work, constant changes in the work environment and high competition and demands, generally translate into an increase in the levels of pressure at work and consequently of stress.
Although, in its fair measure, stress is not bad because it helps us reach an optimal level of alertness and respond effectively to various situations to achieve a goal. Prolonged exposure to stressful situations can be negative on a physical and mental level. Well, the inability to cope with pressure can lead to the so-called burnout syndrome or professional burnout.
This condition manifests itself through symptoms such as mental exhaustion, lack of energy, and poor performance. In addition to muscle aches and pains, less tolerance to stress and psychosomatic conditions. This is how stress ends up impacting both the life and health of people and the productivity of companies. Therefore, managing stress is essential, so we set about compiling some tips that will be of great help in this mission:
Listen to your body
Our body is so wise that it sends us signals to warn us that something is not right and that stress has been present in our lives. Headaches, abnormal blood pressure, digestive problems, and a constant sense of anxiety are just a few signals from the body that it is being subjected to large amounts of stress.
So we must be alert and pay attention to it, to face what causes stress instead of attacking these symptoms. And if necessary seek the help of a specialist.
For a week or two, we can make a record of those stressful situations that we have had and how we have responded to them. For this task we must make a record of all the information that we can, as well as the thoughts and feelings that we had at the moment.
This technique will allow us to identify common stressors and how they affect us, to establish an action plan. Likewise, it will be very useful for someone you trust to support us, a partner with whom to share our concerns. So it will be very important to foster good relationships with other co-workers. This will allow us to have a better understanding of the work environment and fewer stressors.
Exercise in the office
Although we spend a great deal of time sitting in the office, this does not mean that we cannot exercise. Some exercises suitable for the office can also help us relax. For example, stretching the arms up or in front, moving the head from one side to the other, doing toe and heel with the feet, contracting the gluteal muscles or stretching the back, are just some exercises that we can do while sitting.
We can also use the stairs instead of the elevator and we must get up every so often, which can be at intervals of one hour and walk at least ten meters.
Take a break
Breathing in critical moments can be very helpful when nerves attack and pressure builds. In these moments a quick and useful form of relaxation is abdominal breathing. To do this, breathe deeply through your nose until you notice how the belly fills with air and swells like a balloon. Hold the air for 3 to 4 seconds and slowly release it through your mouth.
Taking 6 to 10 breaths of this type while repeating some relaxing phrase (“I am calm”, “I feel completely calm”) helps a lot to.
Try to have healthy habits
Although many of us seem to ignore it, what we do when we are out of work also influences our performance at work, as well as our physical and mental well-being. For example, healthy sleep habits according to experts include cutting back on caffeine or alcohol at the beginning of the night. Likewise, we must avoid using computers or watching television at night before going to sleep, in addition to resting between 7 and 8 hours.
If we talk about eating habits, it is important to take care of the diet. Trying to be consistent with the effort to be made and reducing the consumption of saturated fats and sugars as much as possible and including more fruits, vegetables, fish and lean meats in the menu. Well, several studies have shown that the sugary products that we consume at work and fast food are habits that increase stress.
Finally, do not try to combat stress with alcohol or tobacco and instead use other methods such as physical exercise and breathing management. The key is that we take advantage of the physical activity that we are most passionate about, be it running, swimming or going to the gym, making it a habit. We also have many options to relax and control our breathing, such as mindfulness and meditation.
Organize your time well
Most of the time the pressure we feel for work is not the product of overwork but of poor time management. Therefore, its efficient distribution will be the key to enjoy doing the work without pressure. This will also allow us to keep track of our day-to-day life, reduce stress and have a better balance in our lives.
So we must try to organize our work in such a way that we can carry out all our activities comfortably. Distributing the time based on priorities, quantifying the amount that will be invested in each task and setting a schedule. Of course without forgetting that we must leave time for ourselves and the activities that motivate us the most. That way we will know what we have to do each moment, and if we comply with the agenda we will avoid pressure and stress.
It is advisable to identify the tasks that demand the most effort, trying to attend to them at the beginning of the day, which is when we have the highest levels of energy and concentration.
One of the best options when facing with the stress generated by work is disconnection. This helps us to be more relaxed, rest better and definitely be happier. So let’s try to make time for ourselves. For this we can take 10 minutes for each hour of work to clear the mind a bit, stretch the body and rest. It can be walking while we look for a coffee or go to the bathroom or talking with colleagues about non-work issues.
Likewise, we can take advantage of the trips from home to the office to work our breathing and relax a little without thinking about work, for example, reading a book. Without also forgetting that we must limit each environment, not taking work home unless it is necessary.
On the other hand, if you have vacations or days off, do not let them get lost and whenever possible take them to relax and unwind. In this way we will feel fresher and renewed to perform at our best.
Spending time with friends and family
Many times we are so full of work that we do not have time for our personal life and this is something that we must combat. Well, the support of friends and family can help us cope with stressful moments. So spending time with them, in addition to reminding us who we are, helps us relax and clear our minds from work.