• Aida Xie

Manage Your Stress Like a Pro

Have you ever felt like you have dealt with more than enough when after navigating through the chaotic morning traffic, you have colleagues plucking at your nerves all day? Or have you felt completely overwhelmed when your to-do list seems never-ending as you have to juggle between busyness at work and a hectic home life?

Well, the important thing to remember is that you’re not alone.

All of us experience stress and handle it differently. While some of us may have a greater capacity for pressure-driven situations, nobody should ever be toughing it out to the breaking point. Workplace stress is a real issue and unless we deal with it, the vicious cycle will entangle us sooner or later. Stress is like an infinite loop that is hard to get out of because when we are stressed, we cannot think clearly. Hence we tend to make poor choices which create more stress. When these scenarios eventuate, it can have terrible effects physically and mentally.

Photo by Asdrubal Luna

Knowing how to de-stress and let go of work to give yourself space to recharge can be a challenge. But, by any chance, is there a way around it? Well, the answer is yes!

For starters, you have to recognise the way you feel and know that there’s nothing wrong with it. Some stress at work is okay! We’re all human and there is so much we can do. When you recognise your state of emotions, you’re ready to implement these few ways in order to take the pressure off.

Plan your day.

Your work will not decrease. The last things you want are not knowing what to do next and wondering if you can have enough time to take on more work. It is time for you to plan how you want to rule your day right from the start! Make a list of everything you have to do at work for the day then decide on what needs to get done first. By doing this, it allows you not only to maximize the efficiency in handling urgent deadlines but also to keep track of what is happening at work. At the end of the workday, take some time to review your list and start making your priority list for tomorrow.

‘I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.’ – Steve Maraboli

Learning to say no.

It can be hard to say ‘no’ sometimes to everything asked of you. However, you know you will be risking your career when you struggle to be on top of the things by taking on more work. Thus, it’s important to speak up for yourself and let people know about it, no matter how hard it is. There are some ways you can decline the request assertively without saying ‘no’ directly. For instance, you can make known the one urgent project that is occupying all your time or propose a timeline which you are able to meet for the new project. Alternatively, you can explain what help you need to finish the most urgent work.

Talk to someone.

Reach out to your trusted colleagues, closest friends or partner for help and let off some steam. They may be able to offer some help to examine what is happening. It is also beneficial when you learn to communicate and address the issues with your colleagues in an open and considerate manner as that will create a better workplace environment. If the situation is dire enough, let your supervisor or Human Resource know (if they are not the root of the problems).

Try meditation.

You can do this anywhere, at any time. There are tons of apps and websites which you can utilise to help you meditate. Meditation is a very simple practice in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. It trains you to rest in the here and now, yet, fully engage with whatever you’re doing at the moment. It may take some time getting comfortable with your mind. Eventually, you will gain calmness and clarity. It won’t make your stress disappear, but it helps you to see from a better perspective so that you can function better.

Don’t sweat it.

Near the end of a day, take a step back and breathe. Review your day. Do not panic even if you made a mistake that day as nobody is perfect. Know that you have put your best foot forward and you can leave the office to have your personal time. Leave your work at work. Make a decision to care for yourself outside the office. Treating yourself to a wholesome dinner will lighten up your mood. Exercising after work could help to unwind your day. Sleeping enough at night is essential to boost stamina for the next day’s routine. Remember this, making sure your body is functioning well is the bare minimum to handling stress. Look after yourself because nobody else will!

How have you been managing your stress?

‘It is not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.’ – Hans Selye

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