Launch into Wellness

Creating Your Own Path to Optimal Health and Wellness

 

 

Let’s face it, we spend more than half our lives at work, infact we spend more time at work than we do with our families, that’s pretty crazy when you think about it. Our families are the important part of our lives and yet most of our precious time is spent in the workforce.  When work stress and pressures start to build up, the physical and emotional impact is not only felt by us but on our families too.  It’s imperative that we understand the importance of coping with stress in the workplace and that we create a plan to ensure we stay on our wellness path.

 

Stress in the workplace can become extremely troublesome for not only you and I but for the employer as well.  When we are stressed at work, we become less productive and are at more risk of illness’ which doesn’t reflect well on us or the employer.  It really is worth the employer’s investment and time to incorporate a health and wellness plan for staff into their business strategy, because after all being proactive benefits everyone’s overall health and well being.

CAN THERE BE BENEFITS TO STRESS?

Short answer, yes there are benefits to stress. We associate stress as having a ‘negative’ impact on us, when in fact there are positive benefits of stress.   A little stress in our lives keeps us focused, energetic and eager to meet challenging deadlines at work. But, while some stress is good for us, we need to be mindful about when stress starts to become unhealthy?  Would you know the warning signs?  And, how would you take action?

 

STRESSED OUT AT WORK?  WARNING SIGNS TO WATCH OUT FOR

It’s important we become aware of the warning signs that present when work stress begins to have an impact on our overall health and well being, warning signs can be any of the following:

  • Feeling irritable, anxious and depressed
  • Tension headaches
  • Social withdrawal
  • Trouble concentrating

We need to be mindful of the signs and take appropriate action to ensure we put a plan in place to keep our mind, body and soul healthy.

 

COPING WITH STRESS AT WORK; WHAT CAN WE DO

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed at work, it’s time to establish a plan that will allow you to cope with pressures.  You may think that you don’t have control over what your day looks like but chances are there are certain aspects that you do have control over but maybe just hadn’t thought about it.  Below are some suggestions on how you can control your day, even when you think you are powerless at work and at the mercy of your employer

Break Time: It’s the law and you are entitled to your breaks.  TAKE THEM.  Many of us get so caught up in the work and meeting those deadlines that we forget to take our breaks.  Walking away from the work, whatever it may be, can actually benefit our productivity.  We can gather our thoughts and go back at it from a fresh perspective.

Move Often: Get as much movement in during the day as you possibly can, walk, run, skip whatever gets you up and moving. Fit it into your break time, lunchtime whatever your day will allow.  Movement will lift your mood, give you energy and sharpen your focus and relax your body and mind.

Eat Healthy:  Incorporating good food choices in your day will surely benefit your stress levels and overall well being.

  • Minimize your sugars and carbs, eating these when we’re craving them from stress will make stress symptoms worse when we crash.
  • Reduce those foods that can have an adverse impact on your mood, caffeine, trans fats and food that contain preservatives
  • Enjoy lost of OMEGA 3 foods; fatty fish, flaxseed or walnuts are a few that will surely give your mood a boost
  • Use alcohol in moderation – too much can cause anxiety

Good Sleep Habits: Establishing healthy sleep habits and aiming for 8 hrs per night will help you in managing work stress.  Go to bed at the same time every night (including weekends).  Avoid stimulating activities before bed, read a book, listen to soft music and relax your body and mind into a peaceful sleep.  Feeling rested allows you to better handle work stress and be more productive.

wake-up-calmTracy’s Tip:  I recommend setting your morning alarm to spa or soft calming music so that you’re not startled out of your sleep in a panic and your heart racing like you just ran a marathon the minute you open your eyes, no,  waking up to calming music really can set the tone for your day.

 

Organize and Prioritize:  Leave 15 – 20 minutes earlier for work and ease into day or shift calmly and focused, rather than rushing in right on time frantically getting yourself set up for the day, this sets the tone for your day (hectic and stressful).  This is extremely important for me. I arrive at work 20 minutes before my start time, prioritize my tasks and organize my to do list for the day.  This allows me to feel  refreshed and ready to start my day.

By following these simple steps I’ve listed you will not only be taking control of how your day is going to go but you will be better equipped to cope with workplace stresses.

 

GET A HANDLE ON WORK STRESS; YOUR OVERALL WELLNESS DEPENDS ON IT

Stress at work is inevitable, we all feel it and finding coping strategies that will allow us to manage the stress is key.  However, stress can be positive as it motivates us to be productive and challenges us which in turn results in our growth professionally.  Recognizing the warning signs when stress starts to impact our over well being is extremely important.  We need to recognize the warning signs and pull out our plan (or create a plan if we haven’t already established one) to get ourselves back on the wellness track.

 

I’d love to hear how you cope with stress at work

 

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12 thoughts on “Coping With Stress In The Workplace

  1. Hi Tracy,
    What a great post! I don’t work outside the home anymore but when I did, I let breaks go by me and just kept working.

    I work from home now and when I get frustrated with writing my articles and come to a roadblock, I get up and walk away and deflate that stress. I will either go outside or go to another part of the house.

    I take deep breathes and say a little prayer! It sure does help!
    You have lots of helpful information here!
    I will be back to read more! 🙂

    Awesome article!
    Donna

    1. Thanks Donna,

      You’re absolutely right about those breathing exercises, those exercises can really ground us.
      Going outside for some fresh air is important too, fresh air improves our mood and boosts our overall well-being.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Tracy

  2. Great tips, from my experiance the most important thing is good planning. It help us to be more effective, and also causes that we get rid of fears that we will not do something on time.

  3. What a great article. We will all have to face stress from time to time. You gave some great tips on dealing with stress.

    Getting enough of sleep, eating right and leaving early for work are great ideas. I like how you mentioned waking up to soft music. Music has a way of calming us down, when it is soft.

    I find reading a book is also very relaxing. I make it a priority to read everyday.

    1. Hi John

      Yes, I wanted to convey in this article that we do have some control over how our day can look however it can be overlooked as we tend to associate having control over our day with what happens only at work, what we do when we’re not at work helps us to be able to cope better with work stresses.
      Reading a book to relax at work on break or lunch can certainly be helpful too, great tip.

      Thanks for taking the time to have a read.

      Tracy

  4. Thank you for the stress reducing tips.
    Sometimes I think people forget that we work to live, not live to work.
    Take time out for yourselves because if you don’t, nobody else will.
    5 years ago I got very ill and had to have surgery and we weren’t sure if I’d be able to go back to work. Initially my work was ‘what will we do without you’ but in a very short time they were back to business as usual. So don’t kill yourself for your job, put your health first.

  5. Hi Fran

    You’re so right, our health needs to be first and foremost. We need to take care of ourselves first, no body can do that for us. The message I hope to get across to people with my website is just that, self care and our wellness is up to each of us individually.
    I hope you are doing better and that you are back on your wellness path.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Tracy

  6. Hi Tracy, am so grateful for the quality article on how to go about stress and if it can not be looked upon it can lead to depression.
    many people are going through depression but they are afraid to seek help because of stigma. seeking help online is the best way cos you will be open to let out your problem without fearing that maybe your neighbour’s are watching or friends. and if there’s an easy way to access the internet and get help, it can be better cos some of the people who are depressed have no idea on how to juggle around the internet and get the right website or doctor to help. thanks again.

    1. Hi Bruce

      Thanks for your comment, yes you’re so right, online therapy opens up the door for more people to access help when they need it (I’ve got a blog post on that too). And there are some great benefits to it such as removing the stigma of having to be seen at a counseling clinic. So many people suffer from anxiety and depression and now services have become much easier to access online.

      All the best
      Cheers

  7. Hi
    I really enjoyed this article. I particularly like the emphasis on our ability to deal with our stress, own it and do something to help ourselves. It is so easy to get caught up in the blame game, but actually loving yourself and treating yourself right instead of giving all your energy to your work is so important. I have burnt out a couple of times due to not loving myself, now I will never make that mistake again.
    Kind Wishes
    Daisy

  8. Hi Daisy

    Thanks for the lovely comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Having a wellness plan is key, putting ourselves first is a must. I too have had some some experience with burn out, and I have actually documented my wellness plan for myself so when I begin to start to feel overwhelmed I pull it out and place it on my refrigerator so that it’s visible to me. This way there is no excuse for me to not to be doing what I know needs to be done for my overall well-being. I hold myself accountable! I’m glad you too have a plan to avoid burn out.

    Cheers

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