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How to cope with stress at work

According to a recent Monster Poll, an overwhelming majority of respondents (88%, to be precise) admitted that stress had driven them to switch jobs. If you are considering migrating to another job for the very same reason, but are unable to do so at the moment, hang in there! Until the time is right, here are a few ways to cope with work-related stress and improve your work-life blend:

1. Take shorts breaks every now and then: There will be moments during the day when you find yourself struggling to summon the willpower to continue working. That is a sign you are in need of a break. It does not have to be a long break – just taking a quick walk around the block, or reading a chapter from a book or magazine will lift your spirits and a leave you with renewed zeal. Plus, these short breaks will help to prevent you from feeling burnt out.

2. Reduce your working hours: Most professions, especially desk-bound ones, demand that professionals work long hours. But working for more than 10 hours a day is a dangerous practise, and will only contribute to the quick deterioration of your mental and physical health. If you are used to working for long stretches of time and staying at the office late into the night, try and find a way to shift around your working hours so you can go home and relax, or spend time with your loved ones. If that means taking on fewer projects, so be it.

3. Maintain boundaries between work and domestic life: If you have your work email accounts synced to your personal home devices, it is time to unsync. Receiving and checking notifications from work when you are out of the office, or replying to work emails after office hours is not a healthy practise, as you will be inclined to keep working long after you have left your desk. As a result, you are never truly disconnected from work, and your brain continues to be in work mode even when you are supposed to be resting, which is a major cause of stress.

4. Tidy your workstation: If your desk is a mess, it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Since you likely spend a majority of your time at your desk, getting it in order will put your mind at ease. A cluttered desk will influence your mind to be disorganised, even though you may not realise it. Clearing unnecessary items and arranging your essentials in a neat, orderly manner will help you feel calm. If you’re need inspiration on how to revamp your desk, refer to magazines and interior decor websites for ideas.

5. Exercise and eat well: It is a well-documented fact that stress can wreak havoc on your metabolism and cause fluctuations in weight. If you have noticed a sudden weight gain or loss for no seemingly apparent reason, you can chalk it up to stress. Exercising, even if for a few minutes during the day, and controlling your intake of unhealthy snacks will help contribute towards you feeling less stressed. Instead of burning the midnight oil to complete assignments, spare half an hour to work out your muscles.

6. Renegotiate some of your deadlines: If you have been struggling to meet your deadlines, it may be time to rethink if you can fulfil them. Do not be afraid to ask your colleagues for assistance – after all, a time may come when they will have to lean on you. If you work in a client-facing role and are dealing with non-negotiable deadlines, it might be prudent to pass on the work to someone else who is more equipped to handle the workload. You may not be in the state of mind to handle additional stress at the moment, and that is okay. Talk to your boss about shifting deadlines; it’s better that you properly carry fewer responsibilities, rather than having a full plate and turning in subpar work.

7. Listen to music you love: Spotify, Youtube, Soundcloud are a few streaming sites where you can access an unlimited amount of music for free. If you are not in the habit of listening to music while you work, give it a try. If you do not want the hassle of creating playlists, all of these sites come with curated, theme-based playlists. Listening to music that relaxes you will help you be less stressed during work.

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