Work-related stress can continue to linger even after clocking out. This stress, left untreated, can cause grave consequences. Medical researchers have reported that 70 to 90 percent of visits to primary care physicians are linked to high stress-levels. There are healthy and unhealthy methods to take the edge off after work. Handling stress in unhealthy ways can cause anger, irritability, insomnia, and depression. Side-effects of those include: headaches, high blood pressure, weight gain/loss, and weakened immune systems. Here are some healthy tips for reducing this type of stress, that will bring peace to the workplace and at home.
Everyone encounters stress at some point, but some experience it more than others. Start by identifying what is stressful in the workplace. Without recognizing who or what is causing the issue, there is no way to advance from square one. Instead of bottling up the stress and attempting to ignore it, try to communicate with a co-worker or supervisor to brainstorm if there is any solution that will fix the problem, and therefore ease stress.
Many of the techniques to reduce work-related stress actually are put into place at home. Getting a good night of sleep is likely to make for a productive, happy workday. Waking up well-rested will have a positive impact on any day of the week, even Mondays! And, who doesn’t love an excuse to hit snooze?
Instead of running out the door with an unsatisfying granola bar in hand, or skipping out on breakfast completely, make time for a nutritious meal. Kick off the day with healthy food to reduce unreasonable “hangry” moments. Try something with plenty of protein to stay full for longer.
It’s tempting to part ways with the office and head straight to the local bar, or fridge, for a few drinks. Instead, try packing athletic clothes and shoes to hit the gym instead. Working out and getting the heart rate up can reduce stress levels and also make for a healthier lifestyle. Win-win.
While at work, set boundaries with coworkers that may be prone to gossiping or being especially negative. Be sure to communicate in an appropriate, professional way to avoid coming across as unfriendly.
When a conflict comes to the surface, try taking a few deep breaths and thinking positively. Inhale through the nose and fill the stomach with air. Hold for a few seconds, and exhale. While doing this, try unclenching the jaw and relaxing the shoulders. Attending counseling can be beneficial to talk through situations and issues as well.
Changing some aspects of the cubicle may cause lower stress levels. Something as simple as replacing a desk chair or computer mouse for more comfortable options can reduce physical tension drastically.
Ultimately, if your workplace stress begins to overpower your life, consider seeking professional help to get both your mental and physical health back on track. There is no shame in making your mental health a priority, even if it means taking time off of work. Your employers will understand that your overall well-being is of the utmost importance. To combat workplace stress, Valbuena 360° Wellness Center offers a variety of services to help individuals work through their stress triggers and obstacles, including adult counseling and anxiety treatment.
Stress will always find ways to creep back into the workplace. It is important to find ways to handle it, and make time for those methods on even the busiest days. Some methods will prove to be very effective for some, but not for others. Trial and error will determine what will be successful practices for each unique individual.
Dr. Paul Valbuena is a Double-Board Certified Psychiatrist and Founder of Valbuena 360° Wellness Center. He specializes in addiction, adult, child and adolescent psychiatry. His Scottsdale-based practice offers a variety of services including counseling, psychiatry, integrative medicine and med-spa services.