Let’s face it, stress is a part of life and work can be hard. If life was always relaxing and easy going, we would be sitting on a beach, drinking margaritas and being fed grapes by a Joe Manganiello-esque god. But alas, we aren’t. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 7.7 million Australians are considered to be working full time. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in October 2015 that of this number, over five million were working 40+ hours, another 1.4 million were working 50+ hours and another 270 000 reported to be working 70+ hours. Given we spend so much of our lives at work, there are bound to be times when it all seems to be too much and you get ‘IN THE GRIP’ (insert dramatic music here). At different times, we exhibit some terrible ways to express stress. You may recognise some of these people from your office:
- The desk basher – be aware of all IT equipment and breakable desk objects within a two metre radius
- The emotional eater – can’t find your afternoon chocolate stash? Chances are, this person has found it before you…and eaten it
- The oversharer- “I’m so busy and stressed, but I have to make time to tell you all, so you know just how stressed and busy I am”
- The distractor – so stressed, but they aren’t ready to tackle it just yet. So in the meantime, they’ll do everything in their power to distract everyone else
- The manager – they’re stressed, so they’ll find anything they possibly can to manage you and delegate. You’ll know that their jobs are way more important than whatever you have on your plate, so do it yesterday.
- The steaming pressure cooker – when it’s quiet, be afraid. Be very afraid.
So during these times of high stress, how can you effectively manage it? Stress at times can be an excellent motivator, especially when it comes to strict deadlines. However, for most of the time, it’s something that needs to be managed to prevent burn out, illness and negativity affecting those around you. So, what can you do when it all seems too much?
- Step away from the computer. Go for a walk, sit in a park or hit the shops for some retail therapy – anything to remove yourself from the situation and come back with fresh eyes.
- GO HOME! Are you really going to solve that issue at 9pm at night, sitting at your desk, alone?
- Eat. Now I don’t mean that gourmet donut at the coffee shop downstairs (mmm donuts…). I mean real food and real meals! Foods rich in antioxidants and serotonin can help fight stress and sickness.
- Exercise – take a lunch break and hit the gym. Boxing and yoga have been proven to assist in the reduction of stress
- Music – find something that relaxes you and blocks out all of the external chatter to allow you to focus
- Colour in. Yes, seriously. It focuses the mind.
Next time you’re feeling stressed, try one of these six tips to help fight it. Remember, fight the stress – not your colleagues!