A while ago I wrote about how you can recognise stress in your body when you are under constant pressure. Not great, but what can you do about it? All that work needs to be done, and it won’t get any less by leaving it as it is… right? Right. Still, here are five ideas to get a little breathing space and reduce your stress levels.
1. Talk about it
It probably sounds very cliche, but talking helps! When you don’t see a way out of the mess by yourself, there might just be a friend, family member or colleague willing to help you out. No one likes being super busy and if you are stressed out, your environment suffers as well.
Just letting off some steam to someone about it might give you a little bit more energy to get through the day. And who knows, perhaps that person might have some handy ideas for you!
2. Let someone else do the work
Who says you have to do everything yourself? As long as the work gets done, right? Perhaps you have a colleague with a little time to spare, or your neighbour can watch the kids for a bit while you finish up a chore. If you ask nicely, I am sure your spouse may be up for cooking duty tonight (or to run by the store to pick up that one forgotten thing). That way, you are not alone and you can free your hands to tackle another important task.
3. Talk to your boss
Can’t find a solution with your colleagues? Talk to your boss about it! He or she will be even worse off when you have to call in sick because you are overworked, or if you have to stop working altogether because of a burnout situatuion. En you won’t be happy with that, either! So get over yourself and talk to your boss. If you have a structural overload of work, he or she might be able to help you set some priorities or redivide the work.
4. Let off some steam
It helps a lot of people to let off some steam after a busy work day. Especially when your work involves a lot of thinking and not a lot of moving, it can be wonderful to just get physically active afterwards. Working out is a great way to let off some steam for a lot of people. If you don’t have time for that, you could also consider an evening walk or do some gardening in the summer. When your body is busy, your brain (oddly enough) finds some peace.
5. Rest regularly
Perhaps a little obvious, but if you work hard (physically or mentally) you also need to rest well. Not only at night, but also in between. So keep an eye on your agenda and don’t plan work over your lunch break, and see if you can plan a little me-time during your day (or in the evenings). Even if it’s just for a short stroll, a cup of coffee, a quiet moment to read the newspaper or a long, luxurious shower – without the kids screaming at the door.
What do you do to prevent high stress levels?