5 ways to manage stress and boost your productivity and wellbeing
Stress is one of the biggest problems facing the modern workforce.
In the UK, over 12.5 million working days are lost every year due to stress.
We experience stress when we believe that we don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to handle a situation – when we feel ‘out of control’.
Stress can affect us in many different ways and can take on various forms, such as worrying about our financial situation to managing our workload.
However, it is possible to manage stress and be able to work more happily, healthily and productively.
Here are 5 ways to manage stress and boost your productivity and wellbeing, both in and out of the workplace:
1) Identify stressors
Understanding the things that cause stress is the starting point in helping to manage it.
List the main stressors in order of their impact will help you understand which stressors affect your health and wellbeing and which affect your work and productivity.
A stress diary can help to identify the causes of stress, why the situation made you feel stressed, as well as your thoughts, feelings and emotions at the time. Often, the act of writing these down can be cathartic and help to reduce stress.
2) Prioritise your workload
A heavy workload and limited time to complete it in can contribute to the feelings of stress.
Prioritise tasks based on urgency (due date/time) and importance (linked to your goals).
Breaking large projects into smaller chunks or sub-tasks can make them more manageable.
Identify what’s really important today and what can wait until tomorrow or next week.
3)Challenge negative thinking
Stress is often caused by how we perceive a situation and the narrative we use to describe it.
Challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive, objective and rational thoughts can help you deal with difficult or stressful situations and maintain a positive outlook.
Using affirmations such as
can help replace negative with positive thinking.
Breaks help to:
- Restore focus and motivation
- Consolidate memory and learning
- Boost creativity and productivity
- Reduce stress
Build a combination of micro-breaks, moving breaks, nature breaks and social breaks into each day to help you reset, restore and refocus.
5)Create me time
This is time that is just yours, to do what you want with, whether that’s being in nature, meeting friends, reading a book, or listening to music. This is important to create distance away from work and recharge your batteries.
Me time can also be in the work environment where you set boundaries for when you are available and when you are not available, giving yourself time to focus on deep work without interruptions and distractions.
Relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing are great ways to manage symptoms of stress. These can be particularly helpful before going to bed to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Stress takes on many forms and people respond differently to stress. Stress can seriously affect our health, relationships and work and therefore our productivity and wellbeing. Learning how to manage stress helps us to be resilient to stress and work more happily and productively.
If you are concerned about the stress you are experiencing, visit your GP.
The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day in full confidence. Call 116 123.
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