Everyone goes through periods of time in which throwing your laptop out the window seems like a totally normal and rational response to three deadlines and four meetings have been added to an already busy schedule. If this sounds familiar to you at the moment, you’re probably stressed, and for good reason.
Stress is a natural response to an intimidating situation, but learning how to deal with this in an effective way will ensure you’re not simply surviving a busy period, but actually boosting your productivity at the same time. Here are our five top tips for handling a particularly stressful time at work:
1. Create a daily plan
The first thing to do when going into the office is listing what you need to do in order of priority and time the task in question will take. Taking a couple of minutes to plan your day before you actually get started will help when things start piling on and allow you to prioritise more effectively.
Making sure you’ve written down a kind of plan for the day also means you don’t have to rely on your memory to recall what you need to get done. A stressed-out brain is prone to short-circuiting as is, so give yourself a break by putting things dow
2. Try to keep a (relatively) healthy diet
Here at LEAP, we know better than most the therapeutic power of a greasy pizza when you’re feeling low. The unfortunate truth, however, is that that pizza isn’t going to do much for you in the long run. You need to ensure you’re supplying your body with the necessary nutrients to keep your energy and focus levels high, and this usually comes in the forms of vitamin-rich food like vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
3. Get outside more
Exercise can be a great way to combat stress, and not merely because moving your body pumps a ton of happy hormones to your brain. Lots of studies have shown that going outside and engaging in some kind of mild physical activity, whether this be walking, taking a bike ride, or jogging, can help boost your overall health as well.
If you live somewhere there isn’t much sun, or if you find yourself cooped up in an office with little to natural light most hours of the day, going outside and soaking up some sunlight can also be an incredibly therapeutic activity in itself.
4. Take a digital detox
It’s so easy to stay connected to people that we forget it isn’t natural to respond to emails from your boss at 10:00 at night. Remember to set yourself boundaries and ensure that you’re able to unplug from work, at least for a little while, after you leave the office. This will ensure you aren’t caught up in the stress of the office at home and give you some time to collect your bearings before handling the next day.
Social media can also trigger stress if ill-used. Reflecting on if Instagram is hurting more than helping you at the moment may make you decide to pause your account for a little while, and there’s no harm in doing this if you find yourself in a particularly stressful situation
5. Treat yourself!
Incentivizing work is a great way to keep yourself going through a difficult period. Though it’s never a good idea to be overly dependent on retail therapy, sometimes it is just what you need to keep yourself going. Those shoes you’ve had an eye on for a while? Yours once you’ve managed to successfully complete those two projects you’ve been working on.
You can also just choose to treat yourself with less material items and things you know will bring back some peace- a night out with friends, or a mid-week matinee: whatever works for you, as long as it’s bringing back some peace, may be well worth it