Guest Author - Dianne Walker
The meeting is in less than twenty minutes away and you are totally not prepared. Next week’s deadline for the report has been moved to tomorrow. Everyone suddenly has a problem classified as “urgent”. What could possibly happen next?
Stress is real, and if allowed, will overtake our lives and cause all sorts of problems from work to home and health. How do we combat stress? Here are 5 tips on how to tame the stress cycle at work:
1 – Are there internal stress factors going on? Health problems can often manifest itself into stress. Visit your doctor for a physical check up. The silent killers, such as high blood pressure can often be a side effect of a high stress job. It does not matter if you are a CEO or a front line employee; stress does not take your title into account. Keep tabs on your physical condition to ensure that you are able to keep up with the stress of the job.
2 – Annoying cubicle mates? Take control of your work environment. You may not feel comfortable telling your talkative cubicle neighbor their incessant talking is getting on your nerves. While you may think remaining silent is the least disruptive path, it may be adding to your stress level. You need to find a firmer way to control your environment. There is a nice way to say, “pipe down.”
3 – Start preparing the night before. Nothing is worse than trying to pick a wardrobe will trying to remember everything that you need accomplish that day. Lay out, not one, but two outfits the night before. This will give you the luxury of a last minute change of mind. Also, prepare any other items you need to take with you. You may think you will remember to grab the report off the nightstand, but save yourself the aggravation of remembering – while you’re sitting in the meeting.
4 – Relax on your commute. Don’t spend your commute checking your Blackberry at every stop light. Carve out time to spend reading emails when you first get to work. Spend time listening to your favorite relaxing music or books on tape. Learn to relax before your day starts.
5 – When you get to work – plan your work and work your plan. While it may seem “old school”, preparing a “to-do” list will go a long way in helping to organize your day. After all, it only takes one minor incident to derail your entire day.
One other tip, do not pack your day so tightly that you do not leave room for unexpected situations.
Remember no matter what happens:
- Each moment is only temporary and “this too shall pass.”
- Practice flexibility. Being too rigid can also elevate stress.
- Give yourself permission to make mistakes.
- Once you’ve made a mistake, learn from it and move on.
If you allow it, stress can be as debilitating as a disease. There is no time like the present to break the cycle of stress. Keep controversy, conflicts and stress in perspective.