Beat workplace stress


 
22/07/2011
 
Beat workplace stress from the comfort of your armchair
From demanding bosses to impossible deadlines, the infamous ‘stress factor’ is as much a part of working life as your monthly paycheck.  While there’s not much chance of conjuring up the perfect manager or finding a 25th hour in the day, making a few changes to your home life could have a big impact on your Monday-Friday moods.
 
According to The Stress Management Society [www.stress.org.uk], stress is now the single biggest cause of sickness in the UK; affecting one in five of the working population — from the post-room to the Boardroom.  Leading to everything from sleepless nights to ill health, the figures make for grim reading. 
 
So what can you do about it?
Switch off
Your home life needs to be just that, so when you leave the office, don’t make a habit of taking your work with you.  Even if it means staying a little late or getting in that bit earlier, you need a clear distinction.
 
Make time to unwind
If you live by schedules, use that to your advantage and pencil in some relaxation time — just make sure you stick to it.  Whether it’s unwinding in a bubble bath or having a glass of wine with your favourite TV show, ‘me’ time can be as therapeutic as seven days in the Seychelles.  Just try not to overdo the wine; otherwise, you won’t be thanking us in the morning.
 
Get organised
Whether it’s forgetting your meeting notes, or having to make a mad dash for the train, leaving the house in a breathless rush is a sure-fire way of setting yourself up for stress.  As children, we were taught to get our bags, homework and uniforms ready before bed, and our parents had a point.  Organise yourself the night before, and you might even have time for breakfast.
 
Don’t feed stress
Cooking can be a fun way of unwinding in the evenings, so try rustling up something tasty and nutritious.  When you’re stressed, it can be tempting to opt for the quick fix of junk food, but with a lack of any health benefits and a surge of sugars, it won’t seem like such a good idea when you’re struggling to sleep.
 
Early to bed, eager to rise
As busy as our lives may be, there’s no escaping the importance of recharging our batteries after a hard day’s work.  And if you don’t want to spend hours counting farmyard animals as they leap gleefully over fences without a care in the world, banish thoughts of work until the morning.
 
By creating a calmer, healthier home life, it is possible to eradicate stress from at least one area of your life; and the positive repercussions it’ll have on not only your work-life balance, but on your performance and happiness in work are, quite frankly, amazing.  Now, let’s see about that 25th hour…