5 Office-Friendly Stress Management Techniques for Professionals…
Are you looking for easy, effective and subtle stress management techniques that you can use even in the office? We’ve got you covered!
Work-related stress is the most common form of stress experienced in the UK meaning most, if not all of us, will be exposed to it either regularly or at some point in our career.
The scale of the problem means that People Managers, HR and Team Leaders have a heavy task on their shoulders to minimise pressures in the workplace. But we want you to know that we’re here to help! If you feel you or your team could benefit from an immersive, creative experience crafted to enhance team wellbeing, our workshops in ‘Art as a Form of Meditation’, ‘Balance and Breathwork’ and ‘Desk-Side Yoga’ could be an effective option for you! Please click here for more information and to enquire now…
The Corporate Stress Epidemic: What do we need to know?
Work-related stress affects professionals when they no longer feel they have the resources, support, skills or capabilities to fulfil a particular job role or task. It can be triggered as a result of negative and unjust self-perceptions (like Imposter Syndrome), long working hours, management style, poor work-life balance and even as a result of personal matters. And worst of all… Stress of this kind is a lot more common than you think.
According to a 2020 study, nearly 80% of professionals in the UK report being regularly affected by work-related stress. And with added pressures from remote working, employee absence due to self-isolation and COVID-19 anxiety, stress levels show few signs of slowing down.
We will never be able to fully avoid stress, but we must do what we can to inform ourselves and others of early signs of stress and make it a priority to adopt effective, healthy coping mechanisms and stress management techniques so that it doesn’t become a chronic problem or hazard to our mental and physical health.
Have you noticed that…
- You find it harder to concentrate and focus than usual
- You feel yourself withdrawing socially
- You’re finding it difficult to keep up with demands
- You’ve lost motivation for your role
- You’re overwhelmed and lost
- You’re more emotional, anxious or irritable than usual
- You’re finding it hard to sleep
- You’re struggling to switch off from work when at home
If you notice yourself or a team member struggling with any of these things, it could be a sign that you’re facing a great deal of stress. We have created this useful poster which you can download for free now to put around your work space to help your teams better identify early signs of work-related stress. Keep reading to learn about some effective, easy and subtle stress management techniques to help you better cope!
5 Office-Friendly Stress Management Techniques For When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed…
To help you overcome stress and thrive in stressful situations that may occur in the workplace, we have put together a short list of our favourite healthy, but effective stress management techniques that can be employed any time, anywhere. Please note, when it comes to our mental health and wellbeing there is never a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. What works for one person will not work for another so it is important to approach this with patience and an open mind!
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed at work try these:
1 Visualise a place, person or thing that makes you feel calm and grounded
Visualisation can be a powerful tool to centre yourself – whether you’re looking to ground your busy, anxious mind or even for a boost in your motivation.
Take a second to get comfy, whether at your desk or in your break room, and close your eyes. If you have trouble recalling a ‘happy place’, a person or thing, take some time to think about the last memory you have of a time where you felt safe, comforted and loved. Focus on how that security made you feel…
Ask yourself, how does it feel to be there? Is it indoors or outdoors? What smells do you recognise? Any sounds that you hear? Who are you there with? And once again, how are you feeling when you imagine being there?
2 Focus on your breath
Did you know: breathing is the only bodily function we have full control over, and on top of that, it is also one that can have noticeable, instant benefits in effectively coping with and managing stress!
Make sure you’re sitting upright, with your back straight to open your airways fully and start by inhaling slowly through your nose as you count to 4, placing your hands on your stomach to feel the breath expand your abdomen. Hold this breath for a further 2 seconds as you focus on relaxing any tense muscles in your shoulders, jaw and neck. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth, once again counting to 4 and holding for another 2 seconds before repeating!
People often give up too quickly, so make sure you do this a couple of times before checking in with how you’re feeling. Does it help you calm your mind?
3 Lose yourself in a guided meditation
Guided meditation can be a great option for beginners who are struggling to detach the mind from fixating on negative, intrusive thoughts that may be occurring. We don’t want to avoid or ignore these thoughts altogether, but what we do want to achieve is becoming comfortable with knowing how to cope or manage as and when these thoughts arise.
Apps like Headspace and Calm offer a range of soothing, easy and effective guided meditation activities like body scans, guided breathing techniques and even soothing music to help you reduce symptoms of stress. However, you can also access similar activities on Spotify or Youtube.
Here are some of our favourites:
- The Yoga Bunny
- Spotify’s Guided Meditation Playlist
- The Honest Guys
- Artfully, Mindfully (for guided meditation with a creative twist!)
- Insight Timer
- Down Dog
- And our good friends at Wakes
4 Ease physical tension with a self-massage
Depending on your personal needs, physical touch might be a high priority for your comfort and wellbeing. So, what can you do when you can’t benefit from the safety, security and warmth of a hug from a loved one, friend or pet?
Well, a self-massage, with its ability to coax our minds out of fight or flight mode, might be something that works for you!
Start by closing your eyes (if you feel comfortable doing so) and in slow, circular motions, start by massaging the base of your scalp/neck, working down into your shoulders. As you do so, take some time to notice how this touch makes you feel.
Other areas that will help to relieve tension are the wrists, in between the index finger and thumb, the jaw, temples, bridge of your nose and eye sockets. And if you wanted to take it one step further, you could even introduce a calming aromatherapy balm in lavender, chamomile or even jasmine – we highly recommend it.
5 Write a note to self
We know not everyone will feel comfortable taking a step away from their desk to close their eyes and focus solely on calming their thoughts and breath. In fact for some, this may even heighten the sense of overwhelm and anxiety already felt. For those that are struggling with focus and may be concerned with drawing attention to themselves, we recommend writing a ‘note to self’.
This note to self can include absolutely anything that you want. You can use it to jot down the thoughts that are playing out in your mind in a bid to rationalise with yourself. You may even write about the events of your day or even something you may be looking forward to in order to temporarily distract yourself. However, while writing this note, make sure you focus some of your attention on a mantra of your choice. Remind yourself that you are safe. You are in control. You are capable.
Whatever it is that you feel you need, remind yourself that you have it. This form of self-expression coupled with positive thinking techniques is likely to have a noticeable impact on your immediate thoughts and feelings!
Are you looking for a solution to help you and your team tap into a happier and healthier professional life?
We understand that Quarter 4 and the Winter period can be a stressful time of year, leaving teams feeling distracted, demotivated and disengaged. This can also lead to increased stress on HR, People Managers and Team Leaders as the impact of work-related stress impacts productivity, performance and presenteeism… That is why we are here to make meaningful, on-going mental health and wellbeing support easily accessible for you and your team!
Our November Seasonal Package for workplace wellbeing has been expertly crafted to equip teams with the necessary knowledge, tools and skills to cope with stress through our best-selling workshops in ‘Stress Management’, ‘Resilience’ and ‘Using Your Time Wisely’. However, please note that all of our packages and programmes are bespoke, meaning we will do our utmost to accommodate your unique set of needs and requirements so that you can access the help that you need!
- Upcoming Wellbeing Events for Individuals
- Wellbeing Workshops for Workplaces
- Seasonal Wellbeing Packages for Teams
- Best Creative Team-Building Activities for Halloween and the Festive Season
- What is Wellbeing in the Corporate World?