Mental Health Professional Tips

How To Reduce Stress & Anxiety at Work

how to relieve stress at work

The Stress

Work is stressful for most people. And most of us don’t get enough time to ourselves during the workday. Lowering stress levels can increase productivity levels. So, breaks at work are essential to working efficiently. I know that I need a few breaks during the day. Whether that is actually taking a fifteen-minute break that I am allowed, or if it’s a quick reorganization of my desk and a trip to the water fountain. I personally believe that any moment during the workday that can help reduce stress directly affects productivity as well. And if you work a desk job. Get up and move! Walk around the office. Go to the bathroom that’s further away. Stand up from your desk and s t r e t c h.

Five Best Ways to Reduce Stress at Work

Make a drink, clean your lunch dishes, organize.

A clean workspace can do wonders for the mind. There is a quote by Ben Franklin that says, “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” And I truly believe in this quote. Think about how if you had just ten minutes in your busy workday how much you could organize and how much that organization would make your life easier. So, make the time. Organize. It one alieves you momentarily of work stress and two helps you in the long run. Reduced stress increases your productivity. If you’re already organized then take a trip to the break room and make a fancy coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Refill your water bottle and take the long way back to your desk. Don’t dilly dally. But make sure you’re getting up from your desk and taking a breath every now and then.

Visit a Coworker

This can be tricky. Either your boss or supervisor hates this (as they should if it is abused) or they don’t mind. If they do mind go ask your co-worker about something work-related for a few moments. Ask them if they’ve seen a new article or what they think about that company-wide email that went out. If you do have some leeway in speaking with coworkers have a short chat. Speaking with someone always helps relieve tension in your mind — and the office! Don’t make it a bad habit. But make sure you’re using some time (a few minutes) to create relationships with your coworkers. Anything longer than a few minutes could be considered “stealing company time.”

Essential Oils & Supplements

I keep a handy little bottle of Ashwagandha (a stress-relieving herb) on my desk as well as peppermint and orange essential oils. Both give me quick, albeit short-lived, relief from occasional anxiety during work. If essential oils work for you keep some in your desk. My coworkers love the orange smell. Be aware of sensitive noses in the office. As frustrating as it may be to hear your stress-relieving tactics aren’t liked it is better to keep a positive work environment.

Out of the Office Lunch

LEAVE. Get out of the office. If you’ve had a stressful morning leave the office for your entire lunch. If you brought lunch, warm it up and take it with you. Go to a parking lot nearby and eat in your car. Just get out. Listen to music. Scream. Have a little crazy rant. Cry. Anything that helps. But leaving the office for a bit, even if your lunch is only a half-hour, helps a lot.

Maintain Boundaries

Something that happens frequently to me in the workplace is people approaching me about work topics when I am obviously on break or on lunch. At any other point of the day, I do not mind answering questions. But on break and during lunch is a no-no. If you are bothering people during their lunch, stop. It is not professional and actually illegal. Everyone is entitled to a break and lunch after working a certain amount of hours. Respectfully say you will handle if after lunch. There is no reason to be a workaholic while eating.

The Muse also published an article about how to relieve stress at work which you can find here. If you’re wondering how to remain professional in the workplace click here.

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