Work/Life Balance: 5 Ways to Relieve Work Stress
In today’s fast-paced, always connected world it seems we often live in a constant state of high stress. Everyone has a different level of tolerance for stress, and everyone has different ways of coping with stress, too. Throughout my career, my colleagues and I have come across many ways to relieve stress.
Here are a few of those simple stress relievers you could try, so your stress level doesn’t go off the charts:
1. Practice mindful meditation. An acupuncturist introduced me to the concept of mindful meditation. Mindful meditation has been featured on Dr. Oz, and according to the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, mindful meditation (or awareness) is “paying attention to present moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. It is an excellent antidote to the stresses of modern times. It invites us to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with one’s inner experience.”
To get started with mindful meditation, download the UCLA research center’s free guided meditations on iTunes. These podcasts, which range from three to 19 minutes, can fit into any busy schedule.
2. Walk away. No, I don’t mean walk out on your job. Simply walk away from your desk for a few minutes to de-stress and recharge. Walk around your building or if you’re lucky enough to work on a college campus, take a quick walk around campus.
3. Dream of another job. A workplace mental health counselor once told my colleagues and me that one way of coping with high-stress situations in your current job is to start looking for another job. Even if you don’t plan to leave your current job, the act of looking at a few online job boards may help ease stress because it helps to know there are other options out there if the demands of your current job become too much to handle.
4. Laugh it off. A former colleague of mine used her incredible sense of humor to ease her and her co-workers’ stress. Periodically throughout the year, the co-worker (who was an experienced writer) put pen to paper to create a fake newsletter. It used made-up headlines and stories to poke fun at stressful situations experienced throughout the year. Writing the “newsletter” was therapeutic for the co-worker, and it eased the stress of other trusted coworkers who read it. If writing isn’t your talent, though, find a way to introduce laughter into each day.
5. Turn off your devices. We’re constantly connected to gadgets today, but the constant buzz or glow of a smartphone or tablet can be a stressor, and it may impact your sleep as well. Research shows that the glow from device screens may keep you awake and contribute to other health issues. So turn off your devices after you get home for at least an hour or two before you go to bed to ease stress and get a better night’s sleep.
Image credit: Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Modified by Dana’s Creative Services
About Dana’s Creative Services
Dana’s Creative Services is a writing and editing services company that helps businesses communicate better with their target audiences. Dana McCullough, owner of Dana’s Creative Services, writes and edits copy for brochures, newsletters, websites, blogs, magazines, and books. Her clients include universities, nonprofit organizations, magazine publishers, and book publishers nationwide. Dana has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and frequently writes and edits copy on higher education, genealogy/family history, health, and business topics.