Improve Health and Well-Being by Beating Workplace Stress
John L. Pantera Oct 17, 2012
Tight deadlines, never-ending multitasking, huge project piles and multi-source pressures from bosses, customers and co-workers are all too common characteristics in today’s workplace environment. Working every day in this type of environment can leave employees feeling overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted.
Workplace stress is so prevalent that 69 percent of employees report that work is a significant source of stress in their lives and 41 percent say they typically feel tense or stressed out during the workday (1). While eliminating stress altogether is unrealistic, there are some easy day-to-day techniques that you can incorporate into your daily work schedule to help reduce workplace tension and stress. Try incorporating the following stress busters before, during and after your workday to improve your health and well- being at work and at home.
Stress Buster One: Start the Day Early Feeling Refreshed and Relaxed
As soon as the hustle and bustle of the workday begins, it is easy to lose track of time, projects and deadlines. To help get a hold of your workday before it gets out of control, push your start time 30 minutes earlier before the majority of your co-workers get into the office. Setting aside 30 minutes at the beginning of the day can give you an opportunity to reduce daily workplace stress by planning your day, getting a jumpstart on lingering project deadlines and answering any left over e-mails/last minute to-do items from the day before. By the time your company’s workday begins, you are refreshed and ready to take on the day’s challenges in a more productive and effective manner.
Stress Buster Two: Break Up Workday Stress with Regular Relaxation Breaks
Stress can be a huge player in reducing company productivity, employee efficiency and project accuracy. In fact, 51 percent of employees said they were less productive at work as a result of stress.1 To help combat constant workplace stress, it is important to take regular breaks throughout the day to give your mind and body the opportunity to recharge, refresh and prepare for the next task on your list. Whether it’s a short five- minute water/coffee break in the employee lounge or a longer lunch break, make it a priority each day to get away from your workstation for regular short amounts of time, interact with co-workers face-to-face and step outside for a quick breath of fresh air.
Stress Buster Three: Finish Off the Day On Time and Organized
To finish off your day stress-free, find a good stopping point on your project/task list and shut down your work around the same time each day. Humans are creatures of habit so the more consistent you are with ending your day, the less stress you will carry with you as you return home from work. To create end-of-day closure, it also is important to clean up your workspace by organizing your paperwork and leaving your work area organized and ready for the start of the next day. Since chaos breeds stress, organize your thoughts and priorities before heading out the door by making a task list for the next day. By physically preparing your workspace and mentally preparing your mind at the end of each day, you are setting yourself up for a more productive and stress-free work environment.
Ongoing Stress Buster: Regular Monthly Massages Lead to Stress-Free Living
To keep your mind and body aligned and working in sync, monthly massage therapy sessions are important to restoring and reinvigorating your overall health and well-being at work and at home. Regular monthly massage provides relief and relaxation to people of all ages, occupations and workplace environments. Massage therapy can address a variety of health conditions, the most prevalent being stress-related tension. Some of the most common massage therapy techniques include:
• Deep Tissue Massage: Focuses on chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems or recovery from injury.
• Swedish Massage: Focuses on relaxation, stress relief and overall health and wellness.
• Hot Stone Massage: Specializes in easing muscle tension without deep pressure.
• Trigger Point: Focuses on highly localized muscle knots where the body holds tension and carries stress.
Today is as good of a day as any to start taking steps toward living a more stress-free life at work and at home. By incorporating the above stress buster tips into your daily work environment, combined with regularly scheduled therapeutic massages, you will be on your way to increasing your productivity and efficiency at work, while improving your overall health and well-being.
(1) American Psychological Association. Stress in America 2009.