So many of the people that I work with seem incredibly stressed out. It is no secret that too much stress is harmful.
Stress happens because there is too much to accomplish and not enough time to complete everything on our task list, as well as relationships, deadlines, and all the other things that contribute to us feeling overwhelmed.
Here are four ways you might consider to help you destress a little at work:
1- Ask for Help When You Need It
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you have too much on your plate, there isn’t any shame in asking for assistance. In fact, it shows that you have self-awareness and are dedicated to ensuring that every task is given the attention that it deserves.
It’s ok to ask for help. Helping one another is part of working on a team. Good communication is a two-way street; when you are asking someone to share your workload, be concise and clear about your requirements and always include a workable deadline. A little bit of sincere appreciation goes a long way, too. Avoid micromanaging by only following up with additional details when they are pertinent. Once the project is in their hands, trust them to take ownership of the task. Let them know in the email why you are following up (for example, you have some new information that they do not have) so that they understand you are not checking in on them, but rather trying to give them tools they need to succeed. Showing that you trust someone will give them a chance to prove to you that your trust was well founded; people tend to perform better when they know that they have support. Moving things off your plate when you’re feeling overwhelmed is a great way to reduce your workplace stress.
2- Pay Attention to the Messages You Tell Yourself
Understand that no one feels confident all of the time. We all need to recharge our internal and external batteries. We can do this by reflecting on our positive traits and surrounding ourselves with inspiring people. This helps us build a base of confidence that we can tap into when we are nervous.
For many of us, our internal messages about ourselves end up being negative. We can all get caught in a cycle of pessimistic thinking sometimes. I encourage you to try and pay attention to the messages you receive from others and the messages you tell yourself.
When we pay attention to the messages that dominate our thinking, we can begin to make the types of positive changes that can really impact our lives! The messages that we repeat to ourselves dictate how we see the world and what we believe about ourselves and our situations.
Being able to repeat positive messages to ourselves will empower us to focus more on progress than on mistakes and flaws. The things we tell ourselves become the lens through which we view the world, so keep it growth-oriented and you will go far! And better yet, being more confident and positive will help relieve some of your stress.
3-Schedule Down Time as Well as Work Time
We are human BEings not human DOings. Our high internal standards may try to make us believe that we are nothing but our accomplishments. But the truth is, no one will be judging you if you schedule time for self-care. It will help you to recharge so that you can more effectively and efficiently engage with your work once you return. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s actually selfless because it will give you the energy, perspective, and focus you need to be your best self once you return. When is the last time you took an hour or two to pamper yourself or do something that you really enjoy?
4- Be Yourself
Many of us busy our minds with constant comparisons to other people. There is always something that we want to improve about ourselves and working towards self-improvement is great! But, being preoccupied with what we are not distracts us from all of the great things that we already are.
Comparing yourself to an idealized version of you can only lead to stress and disappointment because that “perfect” version of you doesn’t leave you any room to be human. Instead of playing the mental ‘I would be better if…’ or ‘If only I could be more like….’ game, focus on what makes you brilliant at what you do and let your brilliance shine!
Be yourself and know that it is good enough. In fact, that is fantastic! Emulating others won’t make you happy, and other people will pick up on the fact that you are not being true to who you are.
Taking the time to find ways that really reduce your stress is key.
We all have stress, and it will undoubtedly come and go, but finding ways to manage it will help make you more productive and your workplace more enjoyable.