7 healthy ways to manage stress and find your calm
Managing personal stress and work-related stress is important to maintaining our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Check out this article to learn 7 strategies for managing your stress and boosting your immune system.
Work-related stress is everywhere. It’s something that we all face, especially in our current landscape. Even if you love your job, stress infiltrates all of our lives in many ways and it can take a serious toll on your health. In an effort to stay well as we navigate COVID-19 individually and collectively, managing your stress will be a key ingredient to feeling well and staying healthy.
It is possible for you to learn how to manage your stress in healthier ways and I’m going to teach you how.
>> Let’s start with the warning signs of stress:
Stress is the body’s mental, physical and emotional response to change. When faced with stress, hormones trigger the “fight-or-flight” response to improve our ability to address the challenge.
Stress is a normal part of life and can’t be completely avoided. It can even be a positive force that motivates us to reach specific milestones, like getting promoted, starting a new job or relocating to a new city.
But when stress goes unchecked, it can manifest into a host of physical and emotional ailments, such as:
Poor sleep quality and physical exhaustion
Problems focusing or managing your time
Feeling irritable, frustrated or depressed
Withdrawing from friends and family, and
Turning to drugs, alcohol or cigarettes to cope
>> What are healthy ways to manage stress?
As these symptoms add up, they could impact your happiness and productivity in every area of your career. However, there are several simple, easy-to-implement strategies that can help you bring more balance to your career and reduce stress at work. Keep reading to learn how to manage your stress in a healthy way.
1. Get more exercise
Whether you go running, practice yoga at home or hit the weight room, regular exercise has been shown to enhance mood and people’s ability to focus at work. Even if you only get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, a little movement goes a long way!
It doesn’t matter how you move, as long as you find something you enjoy and stick with it. I also recommend taking short breaks throughout the day to walk or stretch, especially if you spend most of your time at a desk. Exercising is an amazing stress buster, so find some time to get moving and see how it shifts your experience at work.
2. Practice mindfulness and meditation
Meditation is my go-to strategy for decreasing stress, improving memory and boosting my mood because it only takes a few minutes and I can do it from anywhere. This technique has completely transformed my career, so I encourage you to give it a try and experience the benefits of mindfulness at work for yourself! You can meditate during your commute, on your lunch break or in between meetings. Just close your eyes, bring your attention to your breath, and release the tension your body may be carrying. Even on days where your schedule is packed, find 5-10 minutes to check in with yourself and notice how practicing mindfulness at work improves your wellbeing.
3. Plan and prioritize your work
I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have my planner. Without an organization system, staying on top of projects, deadlines, meetings and emails can be overwhelming. Taking a few minutes each day to prioritize tasks, create to-do lists and put deadlines in my calendar helps me stay on track with my goals, manage stress and make my commitments feel more manageable. This prevents my work from piling up, which leads to more worry, exhaustion and burnout.
There are tons of organization and productivity tools to help, so find what works for you and start integrating it into your workflow.
4. Eat nutritious meals & make mindful choices
There’s a reason they call it comfort food! When we experience stress, many of us crave foods high in fat, sugar and salt. However, these items can actually make us feel more tired and lethargic, which can impact our ability to focus at work.
Nourishing your body with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains can help you fuel up and maintain a steady stream of focused energy throughout the day. This can help keep stress to a minimum so you can consistently perform at your best.
Mindful eating is a new trend that I personally love. How can you practice it? Before you make a meal or reach in your cabinet for a snack, take a few deep breaths. Mindfully check in. Ask yourself -- “what do I truly want”, “what am I craving”, “what would feel good to me right now”? Then, make your choice.
5. Distance yourself from your iPhone
Emails. Text Messages. News Alerts. Social Media. Every day we’re bombarded with cell phone notifications that can become a complete waste of time if we’re not careful. Those distractions eventually add up, reducing our ability to stay focused and even causing us to fall behind on our work. Limiting the amount of time spent on our phones can help us stay focused and reduce stress.
6. Take breaks throughout the day
It can be tempting to push through the entire workday without getting up from your desk. But working for a full 8-10 hours can leave you feeling exhausted and depleted by the time you get home.
Instead, try taking short 5-10 minute breaks every 90 minutes. You can choose to use these breaks to stretch, go for a walk, do jumping jacks, call a friend, meditate or practice a few breathing exercises. This will help you feel focused and rejuvenated throughout the day so you can tackle meetings, emails and client obligations with a newfound sense of energy and groundedness.
7. Set boundaries with your time
Maybe it’s your child who barges in during a meeting when you’re working from home. Perhaps it’s the client who calls during non-working hours to ask about a project during a non-emergency. No matter how you look at it, these distractions take up much of your energy and can leave you feeling drained. Setting boundaries around time is challenging, but doing so can help you stay fully present during office hours, allowing you to switch work mode off when you get home. This can help you maintain a healthier work life balance and gain control over your time.
Keeping workplace stress in check
Stress is an epidemic in the American workplace, but it’s a problem we can solve together. The strategies listed above can help keep your stress in a healthier range, ensuring you bring your A-game every day.
Let's talk about ways to manage your stress together.
Schedule a free 30 minute Soul Strategy Session with me here.