6 Ways to Handle Work Stress

By Osarennoma Ogbeide

I haven’t been in the cooperate space for ages but with the experience I’ve garnered thus far, I definitely have had my fair share of work stress. I have however been able to note that if you don’t realize it’s important to handle that kind of stress, it eventually becomes detrimental to your mind and body. There are many ways to handle stress as suggested by professionals. You may be unable to practise all but hey; taking one at a time is still progress.

Take a break: one way to get on top of work stress is to take a break. Ease your head from the rays of your desktop or gadget, ease your ears from phone calls, ease you mouth from presentations and ease your hands from typing reports. I realize this is relative because you can’t just inform HR you need to take a break or just go off the grid even when it’s not time for your official leave. However the policy of your working conditions are, I believe it is still possible to carve out a rest routine, because as impossible as it seems, work will go on in your absence, so take a break and return recharged.

Practise breathing exercises: now this isn’t just for vocalists, it is also a way of calming the nerves and easing tension. Take deep breaths, keep a clear head, breathe in, out. Do this at intervals and watch how relaxed you feel afterwards.

Ward away negative energy: always say goodbye to negative energy. You can’t possibly be stressed from work and still accommodate negative energy or comments. People, things, comments, situations that intentionally seek to disrupt your comfort, progress and peace of mind are all in the category of negative energy. You don’t need to give everyone an audience, you don’t have to respond to every comment, and neither do you have to tolerate certain situations. Bad energy, stay far away.

Time management: this is one thing we hear a lot but sometimes don’t know to implement. Stress could develop from handling way too many things at once or multi-tasking beyond your capacity. Managing your time would help here when you’re able to outline all you have to do, take note of deadlines and create schedules around them. A to-do list is key. A work journal or planner comes very handy here, and since we now live in a digitized world, we have apps that perform same and even enhanced functions.

Eat and sleep well: no matter how busy you get, never forget to eat. Working at the office or from home entails that you expel physical or brain energy and you’re bound to get tired and exhausted. Try to have at least a proper meal and not just fill your stomach with junk food. You don’t need to be a fit fam member to know the importance of a balanced diet or drinking sufficient water each day, it helps. As the saying goes ‘body no be firewood’, your body definitely needs rest to recharge for the work ahead; don’t deprive it of sleep. 

Have extracurricular activities: all work and no play… If you work well then you also should relax well. These extracurricular involve engaging in fun and relaxing activities. It is important to note that if it’s time to relax ensure that it is done optimally. Don’t go to a resort and still be taking work calls, don’t go for a concert and take your laptop along, don’t be at the movies and be thinking of your outstanding work. Permitting work to intrude in your ‘relaxing time’ defeats the purpose.

Don’t evade the possibility of you being stressed; work stress is not designated to a particular set of people. Neither should you wear stress on your head like a banner, instead, do something about it. It is only one who is healthy and in the right state of mind that can work effectively and efficiently. 

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