Work: it’s always going to be a bit stressful.
And although we’re getting better at talking about mental health as a means to end the stigma around it, there are easy ways for you to reduce your own stress at work, too. Here are five simple methods:
1. Learn how to say no
Keep your workload manageable. Life coach Suzy Greaves told the NHS you can prevent exhaustion by “knowing how much work you can take on. Saying yes can win you brownie points in the short term, but if you take on too much and fail to deliver it could be disastrous”. So save yourself the headache by telling your boss when you’ve reached your limit.
2. Leave work at work
Home is your downtime, where you can forget the troubles of the day and recharge. Mind, a mental health charity, suggests making an effort not to let work and personal life merge. Obviously, sometimes you just can't avoid it - but Mind says if you need to bring work home, you should designate a separate area for work and stick to it.
“You’ll find it much easier to then close the door on work,” it says.
3. Plan your day
Write up a to-do list every day. In an article in The Guardian, MySuperSoul founder Victoria Walford, who overcame PTSD after a cycling accident, suggests the best way to do this is to “prioritise the order of items and just start. Take one small step after another”. When your tasks are written down you’ll find it easier to get through your workload knowing what comes next. Plus, ticking things off your to do list is just satisfying...
4. Eat healthily
We all know eating well can work wonders, so why reach for comfort foods when you can opt for balanced meals during lunch? Sharon Melnick, a business psychologist, told Forbes that “eating badly will stress your system” - in other words, it’s best to eat right than suffer the consequences. Healthy meals not only fuel your body, but help to boost your mind too. Don't forget to drink water throughout the day to keep hydrated and avoid low moods.
5. Be active
Working out can reduce mental and emotional tension, but it doesn’t have to be as intense as a work out at the gym - the smallest of exercises can help. As tempting as it is to send an quick email or pick up the phone, walking over to speak to your colleagues is much more beneficial in the long run. And if you want to do more, why not go to a lunchtime gym class?