Work stress is normal, at times even beneficial, part of any work environment. Just think of how deadlines inspire action under pressure, or goals motivate team members towards their figurative finish lines.
However, sometimes that work stress accumulates and becomes chronic. When it reaches that point, it may get in the way of your career goals, and even negatively impact your personal life.
Try out the following tips for everyday work stressors. They’ll help you stay professional and grounded in those moments when you’re feeling anything but.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed: Go get a cool drink of water
Feeling hot with anger and overwhelm? Getting up for a cool glass of water will help you physically break out of whatever negative space you’re in. Go a step further with these tricks:
Take a deep breath before you start drinking your water. When you take a sip, be mindful of what it feels like traveling across your mouth and down your throat. Take another deep breath after you drink. Focusing on this simple act can bring you out of whatever external calamity is alarming you.
Pour yourself an icy glass of water. Press your fingers on either side of the glass – gather enough condensation to spread all across your hands. Physically cooling down can help you emotionally cool down, too.
Bonus: These self-soothing tricks are so subtle, that they’re perfect for the middle of a meeting or conversation with a coworker.
If you’re feeling frustrated: Send your mind on a mini-vacation by visualizing something that brings you joy
Focusing on your frustration won’t help matters any. Get your mind somewhere nicer by thinking about a warm memory you have with your partner; a dream trip you’re planning abroad, or even the ice cream you have waiting for you at home.
Actively focusing on those nice associations can help you trigger the positive emotions that go along with them.
If you’re feeling burnt out: Go talk a walk for fresh air & fresh feelings
Stepping out of the office space is physically putting space between yourself and your work-related stress.
Walking gets your heart pumping, gets your limbs moving, and hopefully gets your mind off of whatever is taking a toll on your wellness!
Getting outside is also a great way to practice some sensory mindfulness, as it’s filled with sights, scents, and sounds.
If you’re feeling low energy: Make a “stress-energize” list
Write down the things that make you anxious on one side of a piece of paper, and the things that bring you joy or passion on the other.
Then, jot down a few actions that you might do that will reduce the work stress presented on the list.
While creating lists can sometimes be a stressful experience in itself, spending even 10 minutes every few days revising this list is a good way to focus on your working longevity.
Consider finding a therapist
Therapy provides a neutral space to share what’s stressing you out at work, whether that’s your coworkers, productivity challenges, or even your long commute.
A therapist might help you sort through the emotions surrounding these factors and draw out the impacts they have on your everyday life. Having awareness is the first step towards making lasting changes.
Remember: preventing burnout caused by work stress is manageable – even in tiny steps! Finding ways to promote self-sustainability each day may combat those feelings of overwhelming work stress, while maintaining the good types of stress that we need to succeed in our workplaces.
This is a guest post from Zencare, a website that helps people find their ideal talk therapist. Visit Zencare.co to browse their vetted network of top therapists – using criteria like insurance, sliding scale, location, and specialties. You can also directly book a free assessment call from the Zencare site!