You’re short staffed at work. The boss just asked you to work late on Friday. That looming deadline is fast approaching. You’re late to the office … again.
All these scenarios feed the vicious beast that is workplace stress.
Job-related stress is a growing epidemic in the U.S. According to a survey by the American Psychology Association, 52 percent of workers consider their work life more stressful than their home life, and 62 percent of American adults suffer from stress-induced chronic health problems. Given the alarming statistics, it’s important for admins to be aware of their stress levels and know how to reduce them.
“Take a deep breath and relax.” It’s easier said than done for many admins. But it’s also advice worth heeding, because prolonged, high stress at work — and home — can lead to serious health problems and even a shorter lifespan.
But, if deep breaths aren’t going to cut it, give some or all of these stress-reducing tips a try.
- Learn better time management. Properly managing your time in the office can go a long way in lowering your stress level. Take time to plan out each day and make a to-do list of the tasks that need to be completed. Put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign when you’re really busy. Avoid distractions such as social media and non-urgent emails and calls. Instead, delegate time to responding to emails, returning calls, and engaging with social media (if it’s required for your job).
- Eat well. Many people seek comfort in food when their stress level increases. However, unhealthy foods and beverages high in sugar, fat, and caffeine increase the stress hormone cortisol. Instead of a candy bar, nibble a piece of dark chocolate — one of the most potent endorphin-boosting foods on the planet. Or eat a handful of nuts, which are packed with cortisol-busting magnesium. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates are also a good choice as they increase serotonin levels.
- Schedule a massage. A deep tissue massage can help reduce blood pressure by up to seven points, and decreasing your blood pressure can add six years to your life. It also helps to relax muscles, lower your heart rate, increase endorphins, and slow breathing – all of which help decrease symptoms of stress.
- Get active. Go for a run, enjoy a swim, or just take a walk around your office building. According to the Mayo Clinic, just about any type of exercise acts as a stress reliever by pumping up endorphins, improving your mood, and allowing you to sleep better.
Regardless of what’s stressing you out, take some time to try one of these tips or something else that relieves tension. Then consider making it a daily or weekly habit.
Stress might be a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to overtake yours.
© 2018 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.