5 Steps to De-stress
1) SET YOUR OWN TIMELINES Rather than toiling your entire day away on one stressful project, give yourself a timeline of what needs to be done for the day and set parameters for how much time you can spend on each project. This way, instead of getting lost in one project all day, you can get lost in a project for a specific amount of time and then move forward – without the stress of it being not good enough. If your project isn’t perfect at the end of the time you set aside in your day to work on it, create time the next day – that way you can look at your project with a fresh mind and fresh eyes, which will help to reduce stress in the long-run as you start to more efficiently manage your time.
2) WALK AROUND THE BLOCK Take a moment and get outside. “Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects,” according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Don’t let yourself get chained to a desk all day. When you’re stressed, sometimes the best answer is to walk away from what is stressing you out so that you can re-enter the setting with a clean mind and fresh eyes, ready to tackle your problem from a new angle. (H/T)
3) INVEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS Accept the invitation to get coffee with somebody else in your office – even when you’re stressed out. The break from the office will help you to clear your mind and social interaction will help you to release stress that you may not have realized you had pent up inside. Plus, studies show, “the people who survive stress the best are the ones who actually increase their social investments in the middle of stress, which is the opposite of what most of us do,” author Shawn Achor said. (H/T)
4) LIGHTEN UP We are always our own worst critics. When you feel like the stress is starting to get the better of you at work, lighten up a little bit. Remember that your workflow is always dynamic, that life is always changing and that doing your best is enough. Nobody is perfect and I think that most of the stress in life comes from setting expectations that are insanely unrealistic for ourselves. So, next time you’re stressed out… take a moment to lighten up. Pat yourself on the back. You’ve made it this far and haven’t given up yet – you’re going to make it through the current stress as well.
5) MEDITATE Meditation, or even just breathing deeply, is crucial to stress reduction. Why? “Research shows that breathing techniques have the ability to dampen the production of stress hormones as well as train your body’s reaction to stressful situations.” Therefore, when you’re in a stressed out state at work – just take five minutes to focus on meditation and breathing deeply. It really can make all the difference… and trust me, you have time to take a five-minute break. Even if you have to go into the coffee shop next door to do so or to put your headphones in and pretend to be listening to something so nobody disturbs you. It’ll be worth it.
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