The corporate world requires employees to work excessively. In addition, multiple requirements and deadlines must be met. The world of work is creating anxiety and even stress, which can lead to overwork, fatigue and a feeling of lack of appreciation. Basically, the main causes of stress are: the amount of work, the authority of a superior, lack of recognition, too heavy responsibilities, repetitive tasks, and so on. That’s why it’s important to have the right tricks to manage stress and better life at work. Here are some techniques to counter stress before it turns into a long-term burnout.
1. Take time for dinner and breaks
It may seem obvious, but at work breaks are essential to get away from stressful sources, discuss and distract yourself. During your dinner or your breaks, it is advisable to go outside and take some air or even take a walk during dinner time. In addition, it is recommended to meet a friend during dinner. Exercise sessions at dinner time would be quite beneficial for you as well. One thing to avoid: eating at your workstation!
2. Drink less coffee
Originally, coffee is a stimulant and that is why its excessive consumption is discouraged to stressed people. Why? Its consumption leads to an increased level of excitement that’s already felt in a person living with stress and it makes it difficult to return to the equilibrium. The person who is experiencing a stressful situation should avoid consuming coffee since this affects the level of excitement as well as the heart rate.
3. Learning to be Zen
There are certain situations that are out of our control. For example, a cancelled appointment or a conflict with a boss. The spent energy and the experienced stress for this type of situation are not worth it. It is better to accept these events even if it is not necessarily obvious. We must practice being Zen!
4. Be well organized
Often, a stressed person has a much greater tendency to procrastinate. It is better to deal with problems once and for all when the opportunity arises. After dealing with them, the stressed person will have a sense of accomplishment as well as the feeling of being able to tick a box. To do this, the employee must set clear goals and try to achieve them one by one. This allows the person to feel that they are moving forward in their work. If it is a large file, you can split the project into several parts and achieve the smallest objectives one by one. This way, the project will prove to be less frightening.
5. Physical activity
Physical activity is beneficial for health and this is especially true when the person is stressed in his/her daily life. Practicing physical activities on a regular basis helps to relieve stress provides physiological benefits. In addition, exercise brings positive effects on the psychological level since the person’s thoughts are occupied with something else during physical activities. The anxiolytic and antidepressant effects of physical exertions are well-known. It should be noted that physical activity does not tackle the real causes of work stress, but allows the person to feel better.
When someone is under intense stress, it is important that they practice relaxation techniques. There are several relaxation techniques to achieve our goal of relaxation. There are one-hour relaxation exercises and other exercises that are simpler to implement during a work day. One of the relaxation exercises is muscle relaxation. To do this you will need:
- To find a comfortable position, either sitting on a chair or preferably lying on the floor.
- To tighten the muscles of your toes. Count to 10, then relax.
- To flex the muscles of your feet. Count to 10, then relax.
- Repeat this gesture for each member of your body: legs, belly, back, arms, fingers, neck and face.
- Contract and then relax your muscles.
- Do not forget to breathe deeply and slowly.
- Once the exercises are over, stay in place for about 30 seconds to enjoy the relaxation session until the very end.
Healthy eating makes it easier to manage stress daily. To do this, you must know what is advised to eat and what is not. First: trace elements that help to counteract stress. The micronutrients include magnesium and lithium, which are a good source of energy. More specifically, magnesium has a positive effect on nervous and emotional balance and ensures adequate regulation of the heart rhythm. There are several foods containing magnesium such as: green vegetables, bananas, fruits, seafood, fish, cereals and cocoa. As for lithium, it has the property of regulating the mood while soothing it. It also reduces anxiety, sadness and irritability. These beneficial properties are found in tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes and radishes. Second: find slow sugars that bring energy throughout work. Foods containing slow sugars are: cereals, pulses, rice, potatoes, etc. Third: vitamins, especially B and C, which must also be consumed in order not to lack energy and to ensure the proper functioning of the nervous and immune systems. Vitamins B and C are found in fruits and vegetables, cereals, fish, etc.
In a stressful situation, deep breathing is a weapon against stress and it allows to work 3 parts of the body: the abdomen, the belly and the diaphragm. Just take a few minutes to master breathing and calm down. How? Just breathe slowly, deeply, and make sure to prolong breathing to the fullest. At the end of the exercise, the employee will feel calmer and will see his or her heart rate regulated.
This technique has many positive effects on the body since it allows to relax muscles while struggling against stress. This relaxing moment allows the person living a lot of stress to recharge its batteries. You will only need to choose a method of massage among the multitude of possibilities. It should be noted that the company’s group insurance plans offer employees with a medical recommendation and a discount of $ 40 per visit.
10. Putting one’s limits (learning to say no)
Sometimes it is difficult for some employees to say no to a supervisor or colleagues when addressing various requests. This type of attitude has negative consequences for the individual, sometimes for others, not to mention the fact that some people will tend to benefit from it. In this type of situation, the employee is often overworked and stressed in his or her work environment. To remedy this pace of work, we must apply 4 steps allowing us to learn to say no.
- Practice: begin to say “no” to less important demands or ones that have fewer consequences. Thereafter, start again and adopt this type of attitude for much more important situations that causes more anxiety.
- Visualize the consequences: it is important to visualize the positive and negative consequences to yourself and to the person making the request. When the person decides to say “no” to a request that overloads his / her work, it allows the person to manage their time more appropriately and to be less overwhelmed. However, the employee may also be guilty of self-deprecation after saying no to one or more requests depending on the consequences.
- Argument the answer: after giving a negative answer, it is very important to argue his answer. The interlocutor receiving a negative answer to his request will certainly be surprised, especially if the employee is used to always say yes. So before saying no, we must identify arguments that support our answer. When the time comes, the person can justify adequately to negative answers to the request of the interlocutor. Such an approach allows the interlocutor to better understand the negative response of the employee and to end up accepting. In this way, the interlocutor will not be destabilized.
- Delivering on the commitments: if an employee gives a negative answer when necessary, it gives more value to a subsequent positive response. It is important to respect the commitment when an employee decides to say “yes” by properly exercising the task. In the case where the employee gives a negative answer, he takes responsibility not to do anything with supporting arguments, so he should not return to his original position.
* It should be noted that our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides services for people living with stress in their work environment.