7 Ways to Reduce Stress at Work & Over the Holiday Season
Everyone has experienced stress at work during one time or another, even if you enjoy your job. During the holiday is easy to become overwhelmed between work, shopping, and family events. Being stressed out can not only affect your job performance; it can also negatively affect your health. The following are seven helpful tips for reducing your stress at work and over the holidays.
Take a Breather | Take a few minutes away from the job to just sit and breathe. Take deep breaths through the nose and out through the mouth. Breathing through the nose helps to stimulate your pre-frontal cortex, which then triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin, which are stress-reducing hormones. Consider this while you’re waiting impatiently in a long line, or can’t find that perfect gift, take conscious deep breathes, counting in for 7 and out for 7. Becoming aware of your breath will help slow you down and focus.
Get Physical | Begin exercising before you head to work. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress, whether it’s going for a short walk or practicing yoga. Try to schedule a bit of exercise during the workday as well. Simply walking up and down the stairs or around the building can help reduce your stress level. Instead of resenting the full parking lot and long walk to the mall, be grateful you’re doing something good for yourself and make it a brisk walk!
Create a Stress-Free Environment | Clean up your workspace. Clutter will often cause stress, so make sure your work area is nice and tidy. Decorate your desk with things that induce positive thoughts, such as photographs of your family or even post it notes with encouraging messages written on them. During the holiday, get in the spirit and decorate your desk!
Manage Your Tasks | Sometimes the amount of things you have to do can be overwhelming. Don’t try to do everything at once. Focus on one task at a time. Complete a few of the smaller tasks first. This will make you feel like you’ve begun accomplishing your tasks and will help reduce the stress of having so much to do.
Learn to Manage Your Time | You can get stressed out if you wait until the last minute to do something. Begin to keep a schedule of your tasks and when you need to complete them by. This way you’ll avoid waiting until the last minute, which causes stress to slowly build up. Making to-do lists with your priorities will help keep things straight. Keeping a running list of personal errands for the holidays can help you feel like you have some control and help you prioritize.
Avoid Negativity | There’s a lot of gossip that flies around the workplace and odds are that you’ve even taken part in it at one point in time. Focus on the positive aspects of your work relationships and avoid talking poorly about fellow coworkers behind their backs. Negativity tends to induce stress. Over the holiday it is easy to get caught up in how much you are spending and how much there is to do, but it’s also a great time to remember those in your life that you are grateful for, as well as all the things in your life you are fortunate enough to have.
Listen to Some Music | When things get hectic at work, it can cause your brain to go into a beta state. This means that your thoughts are becoming frantic, thereby causing unwanted stress. Put on some relaxing music to help soothe your brain by making it go into an alpha state. This will help lower your stress levels. There’s nothing like your favorite holiday music to get you in the mood for the season, and make driving in holiday traffic more manageable.
Use these tips to lower your stress levels throughout your workday, and over the holidays. Not only will you feel better physically and emotionally, you’ll find your job performance will improve as well. Who knows, maybe shopping won’t be so bad after all!
Wishing you a very merry holiday season!