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How to Reduce On-the-Job Stress

Does your job stress you out? If you find your tension level going through the roof while you’re at work, give yourself a break. Reducing stress can be as simple as stretching your legs or organizing your desk. So chill out and learn creative ways to de-stress on the job!


Get Some Perspective
Hey, it’s just a job. Whatever anxiety work causes you, it’s not worth wrecking your health, family, or social life over. Put your job in its proper place and keep it there. Don’t be afraid to say no to unreasonable demands or deadlines. You’re always worth more than any job title or promotion. Treat yourself with respect, and those around you will follow suit. And remember: you’ll want to have a life when you eventually leave this job (or it leaves you).

Get the Facts
Job-related stress can affect your health, home life, and everyone around you. Stress is a part of life. You can’t avoid it forever. But you can be better informed and learn ways to manage it. To get a grip on your stress, try these online resources:
  • Take a stress test to find out if you’re vulnerable to stress in general.
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health offers helpful resourcesfor stress management at work.
  • Read up on the latest strategies for managing career stress.

Get Moving
Even if you haven’t set up a regular exercise program or started eating right yet—which will do you the most good in the long run—you can still unwind in just a few minutes, without leaving work! Take a few minutes to do some or all of these sure-fire tension relievers:
  • Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Put your feet up if possible.
  • Stand up (or, if you’ve been standing all day, sit down), stretch your arms and legs, do a few deep knee bends, and take a walk around the office.
  • Climb a flight of stairs or walk around the block.
  • If you can get outside, get a few minutes of sunlight on the insides of your elbows and the backs of your knees, where the veins are closest to the surface of the skin. This helps your body feel more energized.
  • Stretch out that stiffness in your neck and shoulders.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water.

Get Organized
Is a cluttered desk sending you over the edge? With a little organization, you’ll be less uptight in no time!
  • Stack everything into a couple of piles, then organize the piles into smaller, more manageable groups.
  • Finish that handful of small projects you’ve been meaning to do. This provides a distraction while helping you feel more productive.
  • Make a list of what’s left to be done this week. Prioritize each item. Then put the list away until tomorrow. No sense worrying about what you can’t get done today.

Get Connected
Relieve anxiety by talking, reading, or writing. Pay attention to something other than your stress by...
  • Finding a caring co-worker to talk to.
  • Telling a joke—or laughing at one. Reading a comic strip is a great diversion.
  • Grabbing your cell phone (or some change) and finding a quiet place to call a friend. Talk about something completely unrelated to your job. Give yourself a well-deserved break!
  • Checking your email, writing to a long-lost friend, or organizing your mailbox.
Keep working toward a lower stress level at your job. You’ll feel better in no time!

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