Following on from part one of our blog series for Stress Awareness Month, Senior Trainer Nicola Baillie moves on to the work day…
It’s become a way of life that we give precedence to work over our own health. We know our bodies and minds are under stress, but we prioritise sorting out the next email, completing a project, working towards a promotion. Once these are finished, then we’ll ‘focus on me’.
Not surprisingly, we don’t get round to it.
It’s time to make a commitment to start caring for your health as much as you do your work deadlines.
Keep calm, it really is just work
First, let’s recap on the relevant result from our Calm Study. Out of the 523 people we spoke with, 73% said they feel stressed during their work day. This figure is far too high… add these techniques to your wellness toolkit and use them whenever needed to help you regain control and calm.
- To-do list out of control? Pull back | In our first blog, I talked about pulling back your hand. The same applies here. At work, we’re more likely than ever to agree to requests for help, pick up other’s workload or agree to an unreasonable deadline. Rather than taking on the world, get realistic with ourselves and others, then expectations are managed and the worry of possible failure no longer looms over us.
- Intense day? Get outside | As pressure mounts, it’s hard to justify a break away from your desk. But this could be exactly what you need. Over lunch time, try to go outside for just 15 or 20 minutes. Breathe the fresh air, appreciate the space, openness and greenery around you. Walk – even better, go with a colleague and chat about something that isn’t work related. It will take your mind off the intensity of the day and, when you get back to your desk, you may find yourself managing things a little better.
- In a stress-induced slump? Sit up | Your posture at work plays a big role in helping you manage stress. As pressure mounts, we hunch forwards, close our chest and even subconsciously hold our breath. All this only adds to anxiety. Consciously try to sit up tall on a good chair, keep your screen at eye level and your keyboard within comfortable reach. Your shoulders should be back and your chest open – this will help you breathe far deeper and more beneficially.
- Emails mounting? Pause | Demanding or unfriendly emails can really fuel stress levels and provoke you to respond instantly (and, occasionally, irrationally). Take a breath, walk away, get a glass of water. Then come back and respond. The flames are dampened and your new calmer reply will help diffuse any mounting situation.
In part one, I mentioned that massaging Muscle Rescue Balm into pulse points was great for just helping calm, clear and focus the mind. It’s a good idea to keep a tube of this mind-freeing marvel in your bag or desk drawer for some on-demand composure during moments like this.
Read part three of our blog series to discover the resilience-boosting qualities of our new Strength and Resilience Massage.