Mental Health Week | Combating Stress in the Workplace

As mental health awareness increases and while dealing with stress at work is a real problem, it’s definitely solvable. Outlined here are 5 ways to help bring your stress levels down, so that you can continue to experience breakthroughs and create some real magic for yourself in both life and work.

  1. Form Positive Relationships

Stress we experience can often be alleviated simply by talking about it, which is why forming positive relationships at work is so important. Even if they can’t solve your problems, the simple act of talking about them with someone you trust can help to reduce the severity of the problem.

  1. Start Exercising

Regular aerobic exercise is a natural stress reducer due to its mood bosting and endorphin releasing properties. Exercise also helps get your mind off your stressful thoughts, by being in the moment and focusing on your body’s movements when training, exercise can be a form of active meditation and have a calming effect on the body and mind.

You should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of activity each day.

  1. Eat More Healthily

Many people turn to unhealthy “comfort foods” as stress management. Unfortunately dealing with stress in this manner is not good for you. Sugar or fat-laden foods like pizza, burgers, and ice cream make you feel lethargic, and less likely to tackle your problems which in turn only increases stress levels.

It is important to eat healthy foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates, to fuel your brain and support concentration and focus.

Healthy food options:

  • Whole wheat bread or pasta and vegetables
  • Foods high in fibre like fruits and vegetables
  • Superfoods like Kale, Dark Chocolate, and blueberries, which contain antioxidants
  • Lean proteins like chicken
  1. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can inhibit your ability to cope with even normal amounts of stress, and can negatively affects your mood and outlook on life. Trying to reduce stress whilst tired and irritable from lack of sleep is like fighting a losing battle.

Tips for a successful sleep pattern:

  • Aim for 8 hours sleep a night. There used to be a stigma, that “sleep is for the weak” but to be productive you need to regenerate your body with an effective night’s sleep.
  • Stick to a schedule. Set your body’s internal clock by going to bed at the same time every night. You should be aiming to be able to fall asleep fairly quickly and wake at the same time each day without an alarm clock.
  • Avoid sleeping in on weekends. While it may be tempting, sleeping in can throw off this schedule and undo the progress you’ve made.
  • Turn off screens 1 hour before you want to go to bed. Screens keep your brain engaged and make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
  • Take micro naps. A 15-20 minute nap can help you regenerate your body and push on through the day.
  1. Break Bad Habits

Your outlook on life and work can have a huge impact on your ability to cope with everyday stress. Keeping bad habits in check is vital to avoid them become major sources of negative stress.

  • Stay positive. It’s surprising how much difference your outlook is when you make a point to recognize the people and things in your life that you’re lucky to have.
  • Resist perfectionism. Don’t fear mistakes, learn from them. The desire to be perfect can make your stress spike and your self-worth plummet. Failures don’t define you, they’re just opportunities for learning and growth.
  • Focus on what you can control. Much of the anxiety we experience is over the uncertainty caused by things outside your control. The best way to combat that is to focus on the things you can control – like your effort, your attitude, and how you treat people – rather than the outcomes you can’t.