Does work-related stress keep you up at night? On hearing this question, four out of ten workers replied in the affirmative. Three out of these four people stated that they were extremely stressed at work, with an equal number complaining that their workload forced them to experience frequent burn-outs.
One would think by looking at these alarming statistics that workplace stress would be a huge talking point in the corridors of power. That governments the world over must have been devising policies that would help their electorate achieve optimum work-life balance.
Unfortunately, while some governments have taken steps in this direction, most are still keeping mum, leaving workers like you and me to fend off for ourselves. That’s why, in this article, I’m going to reveal the 3 things whose addition to my office has brought down my stress levels.
Here’s hoping that they do the same for you:
#1: Keep a Vacation File at Your Desk
Let’s be honest: nothing motivates us to work better than the thought that we won’t be working tomorrow. The same fact applies to our stress levels. If we are aware that today or this week or this month is what stands between us and the holiday that we’re planning for quite some time, our stress levels would automatically suffer a nosedive.
That’s primarily the reason why you should maintain a vacation file at your desk. Inside the folder should be the photos/brochures of exotic spots you’d like to go to. Then when you’re feeling down, remind yourself of the glory days lying ahead by having a sneak peek through the file. Doing so would tell you why you’re working – while also taking you on a virtual vacation.
#2: Maintain an Inspiration Wall
Why do you do what you do? Of course, money is one reason, but there must be other reasons which are as important as the balance of your bank account. Some of you might be working to create a better family for your spouse or children than you’ve had. Provided that’s the case, you might like to have pictures of your loved ones at the inspiration wall/phone kiosk.
Afterward, whenever you’re feeling downbeat at work, stare for a couple of minutes at the memento. Recall your reason for being in that office (hint: it must be something positive like the example given in the previous paragraph). Once you feel that your stress levels have gone down, it’s an indicator that you’re ready to get back to work.
#3: Fill your drawer with healthy and nutritious foods
Although I wasn’t aware of this at the time I started experimenting with the effect healthy foods had on my stress, there is research out there that draws a direct line between (un)healthy food like burgers, cheese and fries and increased stress levels. It turns out that since these foods make us feel drowsy and unable to do productive work, they indirectly contribute to increased anxiety.
That’s why I always make sure to have a healthy supply of fiber-rich foods like fruits inside the drawer of my phone charging table. To prevent things from getting boring, there are days when I take complex carbs (like pasta) in my lunch box. You don’t need to consult a nutritionist to identify mood-alleviating snacks; just avoid foods that are high in fat, nicotine, sugar, and (of course) alcohol.
Remember, you work to live, and not the other way around. All the money in the world will be of no use to you if you’re too exhausted to spend it. Follow the ‘tricks’ given in this article to defeat your stress levels and prevent the fear of deadlines from getting to your head.