Six Top Tips for Managing Workplace Stress – from the Sunday Business Post 9th October 2016

Workplace stress can be challenging to manage. But learning how to deal with it is vital, both in terms of how you feel about your work and how you are perceived by others. It is important to learn how to manage it in order to maintain your own health as well as protecting your personal brand.

Deep breaths – simply taking the time to focus on your breathing can be helpful in managing stress, breathing in through your nose to the count of five and breathing out through your mouth, also to a count of five can help alleviate feelings of stress.

Practice saying no. every time you say yes to a request, you are effectively saying no to something else. Your time is a valuable resource – treat it as such. It’s important that you are in control of your schedule and tasks – to an extent of course. Don’t feel as though you have to volunteer or agree to everything that comes up. Take control of your time and use it to work towards your objectives and your team’s objectives.

Organisation – plan ahead – but expect changes. Organisation is key to managing stress in the workplace. By planning ahead and thinking about what could go wrong, you give yourself the opportunity to put measures in place to deal with such events, should they occur. Not only will this reduce your stress over worrying about what could happen, it will also help alleviate stress if it does happen.

Get out – if you usually eat a rushed lunch over your desk, take the time to get out – even if it’s only for 20 minutes of fresh air. The combination of fresh air and exercise will help relax you and clear your mind for the latter part of the day – helping avoid that 3pm slump. An additional benefit to exercise is that it can help you sleep. Adequate amounts of sleep are crucial for dealing with stress and unfortunately stress can have a negative impact on sleep quality, so use exercise to help you get your required amount of sleep in order to reduce those stress levels.

Ask for help – don’t be afraid to delegate – many people find themselves under stress in work because they are trying to do everything themselves, either because they don’t want to burden others or because they think that they are the only ones capable of completing certain tasks properly. By delegating to others, you will not only relieve your own stress, but you will be giving someone else the opportunity to learn. Furthermore, this display of trust will help build your working relationships, which in itself can lead to a reduction in stress.

Finally, take a break! How long has it been since your last holiday? No matter what your job, you should be able to find time to take a break. Taking a holiday not only allows you to recharge your batteries, it can also increase your levels of creativity. If possible take a complete break from work, but if this isn’t possible and you need to put in some work time while away, then do it – just try and keep it to a certain time of the day as opposed to being on call 24-7.