Work Stress Management Advice


 What can you do?

  •     Top 10 Stress busters
  •       Relaxation tips
  •       Good Time Management techniques


Top 10 Stress-busting techniques

 Be active

If you have a stress-related problem, physical activity can get you in the right state of mind to be able to identify the causes of your stress and find a solution. Sometimes speaking to a counsellor can help with this process. To deal with stress effectively, you need to feel robust and you need to feel strong mentally. Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and enabling you to deal with your problems more calmly.

Take Control

There’s a solution to any problem. If you remain passive, thinking I can’t do anything about my problem, your stress will get worse. That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing. The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it’s a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else. Addressing your time management might be helpful or seeking professional help might be your choice of “doing something about your stress”.

Connect with People

A problem shared is a problem halved. A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way. If you don’t connect with people, you won’t have support to turn to when you need help. The activities we do with friends help us relax and we often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever. Talking about things with friends can also help you to find solutions to your problems.

Have some me time

You have to have a good work-life-balance. We all need to take some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise. Set aside a couple of nights a week for some quality “me time” away from work. By earmarking one or two days means you won’t be tempted to work overtime on those days.

Challenge yourself

Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport helps to build confidence. That in turn will help you deal with stress. By constantly challenging yourself you’re being proactive and taking charge of your life. By continuing to learn, you become more emotionally resilient as a person. It arms you with knowledge and makes you want to do things rather than be passive, such as watching TV all the time.

Avoid unhealthy habits

Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking or caffeine as your ways of coping. Over the long-term these crutches won’t solve your problems. They’ll just create new ones. It’s like putting your head in the sand. You need to tackle the cause of your stress to see positive change.

Do volunteer work

Evidence shows that people who help others, whether it is friends or strangers, can gain resilience. Helping others that are in a worse position than yours can help you put your problems into perspective. On a more basic level, do someone a favour every day. These favours might be helping someone cross the road or going out on a coffee run for your work colleagues. Favours cost nothing to do and you’ll feel better.

Work smarter, not harder

Good time management means quality work rather than a quantity of work. Our long hour working culture is a well-known cause of workplace illness. You need a work-life balance that suits you. Working smarter means prioritising your work and concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference to your work. Leave the least important tasks till last. Accept that your in-tray will rarely be empty at the end of the day.

Be positive

Look for the positives in life, and things for which you’re grateful. Write down three things at the end of the day which went well or for which you are grateful. Sometimes we lose sight of what we have. Try to look at the glass as being half full rather than half empty. This can be done by making a conscious effort to train yourself to think more positively. Problems are often a question of perspective. If you change your perspective you will see your situation differently. Perhaps see it from a more positive perspective.

Accept the things you can’t change

Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. If this proves to be the case, recognise and accept things as they are and concentrate on everything that you do have control over. If your company is going under and is making redundancies, there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no point fighting it. In such a situation, you need to focus on the things that you can control such as looking for a new job.


Relaxation tips

Relaxed breathing

Practise deep breathing at a regular time and in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Loosen or remove any tight clothes you have on, such as shoes or jackets. Make yourself feel completely comfortable.

Sitting in a comfy chair with head support or lying on the floor or a bed is best. Place your arms on the chair arms, or flat on the floor or bed, a little bit away from the side of your body with the palms up. If you’re lying down, stretch out your legs, keeping them hip-width apart or slightly wider. If you’re sitting in a chair, don’t cross your legs.

Good relaxation always starts with focusing on your breathing. The way to do it is to breathe in and out slowly and in a regular rhythm as this will help you to calm down.

  • Fill up the whole of your lungs with air, without forcing.  Imagine you’re filling up a bottle so that your lungs fill from the bottom.
  • Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
  • Breathe in slowly and regularly counting from online casino one to five (don’t worry if you can’t reach five at first)
  • Let the breath escape slowly, counting from one to five
  • Keep doing this until you feel calm. Breathe without pausing or holding your breath

Practise this relaxed breathing for three to five minutes, two to three times a day (or whenever you feel stressed)

Deep Muscle Relaxation

This technique takes around 20 minutes. It stretches different muscles in turn and then relaxes them, to release tension from the body and relax your mind.

Find a cool, comfortable quiet place with no distractions. Get completely comfortable, either sitting or lying down. Close your eyes and begin by focusing on your breathing; breathing slowly and deeply, as described above.

If you have pain in certain muscles, or if there are muscles that you find it difficult to focus on, spend more time on relaxing other parts. You may want to play some soothing music to help relaxation. As with all relaxation techniques, deep muscle relaxation will require a bit of practice before you start feeling its benefits.

For each exercise, hold the stretch for a few seconds, then relax. Repeat it a couple of times. It’s useful to keep to the same order as you work through the muscle groups;

  • Face- push the eyebrows together, as though frowning, then release
  • Neck – gently tilt the head forwards, pushing chin down towards chest, then slowly lift it again
  • Shoulders – pull them up towards the ears (shrug), then relax them down towards the feet
  • Chest – breathe slowly and deeply into the diaphragm (below your bottom rib) so that you’re using the whole of the lungs. Then breathe slowly out, allowing the belly to deflate as all the air is exhaled.
  • Arms – stretch the arms away from the body, reach, then relax
  •  Legs – push the toes away from the body, then pull them towards body, then relax
  • Wrists and hands – stretch the wrist by pulling the hand up towards you, and stretch out the fingers and thumbs, then relax

 Spend some time lying quietly after your relaxation with your eyes closed. When you feel ready, stretch and get up slowly.


Good Time Management  techniques

 Good time management is essential for coping with the pressures of modern life without experiencing too much stress.

If you never have enough time to finish your tasks, better time management will help you regain control of your day. Good time management doesn”t mean you do more work. It means you focus on the tasks that matter and will make a difference. Whether it’s in your job or your lifestyle as a whole, learning how to manage your time effectively will help you feel more relaxed, focused and in control. The aim of good time management is to achieve the lifestyle balance you want.

Here are some tips for better time management:

Work out your goals

This first step towards improving your time management is to ask yourself some questions. Work out who you want to be, your priorities in life, and what you want to achieve in your career or personal life. That is then the guiding principle for how you spend your time and how you manage it. Once you have worked out the big picture, even if it”s quite general, you can then work out some short-term and medium-term goals.  Knowing your goals will help you plan better and focus on the things that will help you achieve those goals.

Make a list

A common time-management mistake is trying to remember too many details, leading to information overload. A better way to stay organised and take control of your projects and tasks is to use a to-do list to write things down. Try it and see what works best for you. It is preferable to keep a single to-do list, to avoid losing track of multiple lists. Keeping a list will help you work out your priorities and timings, so it can help you put off the non-urgent tasks.

Work smarter, not harder

Good time management at work means doing high-quality work, not high quantity work. Concentrate not on how busy you are but on results. Spending more time on something doesn’t necessarily achieve more. Staying an extra hour at work at the end of the day may not be the most effective way to manage your time. You may feel resentful about being in the office after hours. You’re also likely to be less productive and frustrated about how little you’re achieving, which will compound your stress.

Have a lunch break

Many people work through their lunch break to gain an extra hour at work, but that can be counter-productive.  As a general rule, taking at least 30 minutes away from your desk will help you to be more effective in the afternoon.  A break is an opportunity to relax and think of something other than work. Go for a walk outdoors or, better still, do some exercise.  You’ll come back to your desk re-energised, with a new set of eyes and renewed focus. Planning your day with a midday break will also help you to break up your work into more manageable chunks.

Prioritise important tasks

Tasks can be grouped in four categories:

  • urgent and important
  • not urgent but important
  • urgent but not important
  • neither urgent nor important

When the phone rings, it seems urgent to pick it up but it’s not necessarily important. It may be more important to continue with what you were doing rather than be distracted by a phone call. When it is appropriate, it may be more effective to let your voicemail pick up the message. People with good time management create time to concentrate on non-urgent, important activities. By so doing, they minimise the chances of activities ever becoming urgent and important. “The aim is to learn how to become better at reducing the number of urgent and important tasks. Having to deal with too many urgent tasks can be stressful.

Practise the 4 Ds

We can spend up to half our working day going through our email inbox, making us tired, frustrated and unproductive. A study has found that one-in-three office workers suffer from email stress. Making a decision the first time you open an email is crucial for effective time management. To manage this burden effectively, practise the 4 Ds of decision-making:

  • Delete: half of the emails you get can probably be deleted immediately.
  • Do: if the email is urgent or can be completed quickly.
  • Delegate: if the email can be better dealt with by someone else.
  • Defer: set aside time at a later date to spend on emails that require longer action.




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