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10 Activities to Reduce Workplace Stress

February 23, 2018
6 min read

Some career choices will naturally consist of having stress involved. Stress can show your passion for a task and proves that you care about its success. Although this can be true, stress, in general, isn’t a pleasant feeling. It can demotivate you, give you the constant feeling of tiredness and start to affect your life outside of work. If stress is unaddressed it can lead to conflict and negative behaviour in the workplace.

What are the ways to reduce stress at workplace? Whether you’re an employer looking for motivational tools or an employee looking for positive ways to de-stress, here are some realistic activities to try in and out of the workplace.

  1. 1. Exercise

Proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce stress, exercise releases endorphins around the body which work as natural anti-depressants and make you feel energized. Exercise doesn’t have to be running and burning yourself out if you don’t like it, you can try yoga, core training or other low impact training ideas, they all release the same endorphins and work to give you natural energy. As an employer, you could offer extended lunch breaks for those wanting to work out or a paid gym membership showing that you promote a healthier lifestyle.

  1. 2. Socialise

If you’re stressed at work and bottle up all your feelings, it’ll only get worse. Going for a drink after work, or talking to friends on lunch can help in taking the weight off your shoulders, you will likely find out that others feel like they’re in the same situation. It can help lighten the mood and having some laughs will naturally reduce stress.

  1. 3. Work communication

Similar to socialising but from a professional point of view, if you are unsure about any tasks, speaking to colleagues will benefit your workday. You may even find out ways to enhance your work rate, face to face contact or team messaging systems like Chanty, Slack or Slack alternatives are great for asking questions that people can get back to you on. Speaking to your manager about any work-related problems will also help, explaining your reasons for being stressed may help them understand the way you perform best.

  1. 4. Healthy diet

We should all know by now that dieting isn’t just for losing weight, having a healthy diet and picking your foods right can help reduce stress. It’s worth researching all the foods that help with this but for those who enjoy snacks at work, dark chocolate, pistachios and blueberries are easy to find in stores and are proven you make the work day easier. Employers can offer different fruits for free or if a café is available considering a change of foods offered will help the workplace for everyone.

  1. 5. Reading

Simple and effective, reading a book reduces stress by taking your concentration away from current work-related issues. Sadly, reading articles on your phone isn’t known to have the same effects, the brain doesn’t relax as much because of the brightness of the screen, but buying a good book doesn’t cost much and keeps you entertained on your breaks.

There are also apps to install on your phone to help relax your mind, different games, puzzles and images that have proven to work, some are paid and others are free to use all depending on the level of detail you want. You can also install apps that give you time limits on certain apps like Facebook so you’re not wasting all your break on social media. It’s great for getting into a new hobby and breaking out of the habit of constantly being on your phone.

  1. 6. Celebrate

A big incentive for employers to use, celebrating different occasions boosts morale in the workplace and bring staff together. Birthdays, sporting events and holidays are all easy to create attention around, asking staff to dress up or bring food in is always a good way to lower workplace stress and keep employees happy with the company’s spirit. As an employee, you can always create events yourself, it doesn’t have to be on a big scale but just enough for people to talk about it and get excited, themed days are always fun.

  1. 7. Walking

Something easy for everyone, sometimes the simplest of ideas are most effective. Going for a walk in the day takes your mind off work, gives you some fresh air and you can come back and re-evaluate the task at hand. You can even ask colleagues if they would like to go for a walk, having a chat will relax even more.

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  1. 8. Stretching

You might not be able to wander off for a walk when you want in your office but employers can’t stop you from stretching. Stretching your body out is another activity that can give you extra energy in work, and energy reduces stress level.

  1. 9. Meetings

Keep everyone’s communication optimised with a weekly meeting to discuss the best work approaches or just general work topics. It’s productive for work and staff communication, companies that tend to have low engagement with their staff more often lose staff as they don’t settle in or desire a job with more natural energy.

  1. 10. Music

Music has a soothing power over the brain, music has a unique link to our emotions and can either naturally flow with your day to make you work rate better, or take your mind off current stresses and relaxes the mind and body. Slow classical music is known to be the most effective but it’s not going to be everyone’s top choice. It’s also a good topic to talk about with colleagues, most often your music taste wouldn’t please everyone so finding a variety that pleases everyone is the best idea, or if you just can’t agree you might need to bring your earphones in.

Conclusion

It’s unlikely that every activity will suit your personality or be available for you to try. They are all proven to reduce stress and employers encourage positive activities to keep all the staff happy in the workplace, so even if it’s a small change in the office or going for a run after, you’ll notice a difference!

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Author:

Richard Meadow

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