Feeling Stressed? Take a Break with our Helpful Tips!
Even if you love your job, you would have experienced work-related stress at some point or another. While stress is part-and-parcel of life, it can indeed become overwhelming and take a toll on your heart and overall health, when it becomes chronic.
Unfortunately, stress is all too common in India. A whopping 89% of Indians stated that they suffer from stress and tension, compared to the world average of 86%. This survey conducted by Cigna TTK Health Insurance found out that workplace issues and finance are the two main stressors in the country.
Top Reasons for Workplace Stress
Some common workplace stressors include:
- Excessive workloads
- A stagnant career with no opportunity for growth or progress
- Lack of social support
- Low salaries compared with similar jobs on the market
- Work that doesn’t provide adequate challenges
- Unclear or too high-performance expectations
- Workplace conflicts and arguments
Negative Impacts of Uncontrolled or Chronic Stress at Work
Unfortunately, workplace stress doesn’t get bundled up at the end of the workday. Employees carry it home with them, and it starts impacting every aspect of their personal and professional lives. When stress continues persisting for a long time, it takes a toll on the health and overall well-being of the employee.
Persistent headaches, migraine, sleep disturbances, insomnia, short-temper, stomach ache, digestive disorders, difficulty in concentrating – these are some of the effects of workplace stress. Chronic stress even leads to a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, anxiety, and cardiac problems. It can also lead to other lifestyle issues like obesity, depression and more.
Very often, people don’t realise that they are stressed. Instead, they try to relieve the symptoms in other ways like binge eating, alcoholism, smoking cigarettes, and even taking drugs. This, in fact, compounds the issue, leading to bigger health problems.
While it’s not possible to avoid workplace tensions completely, you can take the right steps to manage or avoid it!
Why Businesses must Take Steps to Manage and Alleviate Workplace Stress?
Managing workplace stress doesn’t just rest on the shoulders of employees. Businesses too have a role in curbing workplace stress. They must provide employees with a robust stress management programme that focusses on physical as well as mental wellness.
When you have a robust stress management programme at the workplace, it not only boosts employee confidence but also makes them feel happy to be a part of the workplace. At the end of the day, a happy employee is a productive employee.
In short, #GoodHealth #Equals #GoodBusiness.
Are you on the Verge of Buring Out due to Stress?
Here is a list of tried and true methods for reducing workplace stress and boosting your overall mental and physical health.
Rule No.1: Build Positive Relationships at Work
A simple but effective way to deal with stress is by talking about it. This is why building and nurturing positive relationships at work is highly important. Even if the other person is not able to solve your problems, no worries. Just by verbalising your thoughts with someone, you not only feel relieved but reduce some of the pressure bottling up inside you.
Here are a few tips to make workplace relationships work:
- Give a break to your smartphone. Instead, of mindlessly gazing at social media during breaks, take a break from your phone and engage in real conversations with your co-workers.
- Create a “buddy” or mentorship program at work. The idea here is to keep the relationship both professional and personal. By pairing employees from different departments, you not only keep office politics away from the relationship but also avoid jealousy and competition.
- Try vulnerability exercises. Divide employees into small teams of 3 – 5. Each group member has to share one experience that has touched them deeply. Relationships formed during such vulnerability exercises build long-lasting workplace relationships, later on.
Rule No.2: Move It
Exercising is one of the best ways to instantly uplift your mood. During exercise, your body releases endorphins, the feel-good hormone. Several scientific studies today show the mood-changing benefits of exercise.
Here are a few benefits of regular aerobic exercise – improves immunity, boosts mood, helps to curb mood swings, fights depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
If you don’t have the time to hit the gym at the end of the workday, here are a few tips to incorporate exercise as part of your workday:
- Consider an “Active” Desk – Prolonged periods of sitting isn’t good for your health. You can opt for a standing desk, that lets you do work while standing. This helps in toning your stomach and leg muscles and helps you burn extra calories.
- Launch Wellness Challenges – These are weekly (or monthly) fitness challenges in which all employees participate. The maximum number of steps taken in a week, the person who hits the gym 30-days in a row – are some interesting ideas for the challenge.
- Switch to “Walking” or “Standing” meetings – Take phone calls while strolling. Also, conduct standing meetings where all employees remain standing instead of being seated.
Rule No.3: Eat Nutritious and Healthy Food
Have you ever heard the saying, “eat your feelings?” It’s true. When people are stressed out, they usually resort to eating comfort foods aka junk foods to manage stress. The reason for this is that – when we’re stressed our brain releases cortisol, a hormone that makes us crave sweet, salty, or fat-laden foods.
Sadly, stress eating only compounds the problem. When you stuff yourself with junk, you end up feeling lethargic, and unable to complete the problems before you, which in turn increases your stress further.
Not sure what to eat at work? Here are a few guidelines:
- Foods rich in fibre like vegetables and fruits
- Blueberries, dark chocolate and kale contain mood-boosting antioxidants
- Complex carbs like whole wheat pasta, multigrain bread, and vegetables
- Lean proteins like fish, chicken, and eggs
- Fatty foods like red meat, desserts, cheese which lead to sluggishness and lethargy
- Caffeinated drinks like soda, coffee that disrupt your natural sleep cycle
- Foods rich in refined carbs and sugar, which spike your energy levels only to crash
- Alcohol, a natural depressant
- Nicotine, which stimulates your anxiety
Final Thoughts – While Workplace Stress is Real, it’s Solvable
Use these three rules to bring down your stress and watch your health problems melt away! If you need help implementing a comprehensive employee wellness program at your workplace, get in touch with our experts.