Whether you’re working from home or back at the office, balancing a career with your personal activities can be daunting. Heightened by the changing COVID landscape, stress can contribute to lower engagement in work, tense communication with others, and a lack of productivity. According to Stress.org, 46% of employees are stressed due to their workload while 20% are stressed balancing work with their personal lives.
Finding different methods to de-stress while at your workplace can increase your productivity levels while helping you feel more satisfied. While stress and anxiety is a normal part of our day-to-day lives, extreme stress has an adverse impact on physical and mental states and contributes to risks of lower immune systems, health attacks & stroke, depression & anxiety, and more.
In honor of Stress Awareness Month, we’re sharing simple hacks to mitigate everyday stressors in the workplace (whether that’s on your couch or in the office)!
"About 33% of all injuries and illnesses reported by employees were due to Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDS)."
Create a comfortable space.
Aches and pains can be aggravating and stressful, especially when you’re trying to get work done. About 33% of all injuries and illnesses reported by employees were due to Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDS). Some of these factors are attributed to an uncomfortable desk setup, which can cause your posture to suffer, especially after sitting for hours. Take some time to evaluate your workstation and identify any discomfort you’re feeling.
Here are some questions to consider as you create an ergonomic workspace:
- Is your computer at eye level?
- Is your mouse and keyboard within easy reach?
- Is your chair adequately supporting your back and posture?
- Is a standing desk better suited for your workstation?
Keep it clean.
A chaotic workspace can have an impact on your ability to focus, contributing to increased stress levels. Whether it’s your tidying up your physical workspace or keeping your email inbox organized, you’d be surprised at how effective a clean space can better streamline your workflow and increase your mental clarity.
Play some tunes.
71% of professionals have said that music has increased their productivity while in the workplace. Music is a great way to help you concentrate and boost your mood, it can help us get in the zone and better focus on accomplishing the task at hand. Create your own playlist or check out this fun list of songs to bring up your spirits while working.
Take a break from the screen.
While using our phones and computers is virtually impossible to avoid while working, giving yourself a 10-minute break every hour or two can actually boost your productivity levels when you give both your eyes and mind a quick breather. Taking regular breaks can improve our performance capability and also help us adapt when stressful situations may arise. Taking some time away from our screens gives us a chance to get our bodies moving after sitting down for a significant amount of time.
Implement me time.
Take that break a step further by practicing meditation. There are several meditation apps you can use to help guide you. Combining breaks with meditation can help reduce errors, help you prioritize your task to work more efficiently, and reduce your anxiety levels. If meditating at your desk isn’t quite for you, try out a meditative walk, which enables you to bring awareness to an everyday activity while taking your mind away from stressful thoughts.
Let it out.
A healthy way to manage what’s on your mind is through journaling, which has been proven to help your mental clarity and increase your immunity as well. Writing down your thoughts in a journal or keyboard allows you to avoid bubbling up your frustrations and better organize your thoughts so they aren’t taking up space in your head.
Dress for success.
Did you know that the way you dress can impact your stress levels? Our self-esteem is tied to our anxiety and the way we dress can impact our confidence. For those working from home, it might be tempting to work in your pajamas, but dressing too comfortably might hinder our motivation levels.
Dressing as if you’re going to the office can help put you in a work mindset and provide a sense of routine. Research shows that there is a correlation between how we dress, our brain activity, and our work performance. The way we dress sets the tone for the day, and when we feel good in what we’re wearing, we’re able to carry ourselves more assertively in presentations and interactions with others whether in person or on camera.