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No matter how much you love your job, stress and fatigue can creep in, especially when you have many projects and a deadline to meet. According to Employment New Zealand, there are a few things that can cause workplace stress. These include:

  • Heavy workload
  • Bullying in the workplace
  • Long working hours
  • Changes or restructuring in the office
  • A toxic work environment

According to Health Navigator New Zealand, there are ways that you can tell when you or a colleague is stressed.

  • You feel irritable and constantly wound up
  • You’re unable to concentrate on your work
  • You’re constantly anxious and worried
  • Your thoughts are constantly racing like you can’t switch your mind off
  • You are fatigued and tense
  • You feel restless and panicked

Companies are advised to monitor their employees and ensure they are not stressed or fatigued. As an employee, you are entitled to leave days each year and you can also negotiate for further stress leave days so you can come back refreshed and ready to take on your work at the discretion of your employer.

When you’re unable to take some leave days to tackle your stress, you can still find some ways to de-stress while at your work station. There are a few simple ways you can try out to deflate and carry on with your duties.

Just Breathe

It may sound ridiculous, but deep breathing can take away some of the stress you may be experiencing. Try this: Take a deep breath and imagine the air inflating your stomach. Hold this for three to four seconds and then breathe out, as if you are clearing your lungs. Try this at least four times or until you feel a little more relaxed.

There are a number of benefits of deep breathing. For one, it helps to release toxins and tension from your body. When you are not breathing well, it means you’re not expelling carbon dioxide from your body, which eventually causes sickness.

Another benefit of deep breathing is it relaxes the body and the mind and also helps ease body pains. When you need to relax, you must take in slow, deep breaths, which is also the case when your body is in pain. We tend to hold our breath when experiencing pain, which can be detrimental to our health. So, deep breaths once a day keep the doctor away.

Music to Take the Blues Away

Music is a universal language that helps us to deal with any situation in life. Music is known to slow down your heart rate and decrease harmful stress hormones. Unfortunately, there are offices that demand silence to avoid distracting other team members.

In this case, take your headphones and drown out the world with a classical or slow-tempo playlist. This will keep the stress away and help you get some work done. If you need something a little more invigorating, you can turn to your favorite playlists to take the stress away.

Turn on the Funny with YouTube Videos

We thank the heavens daily for YouTube because it has millions of videos that tickle everyone’s fancy. When you are having a hard time concentrating on work, you can take a few minutes off your workload and log onto YouTube.

You can check out some funny videos online that will help alleviate the stress or even inspirational clips that will give you that positive shot in the arm to take on the rest of your workday.

A few ground rules when turning to YouTube to de-stress must be followed. While at work, plug in your headphones to enjoy your videos and avoid distracting other employees. When watching funny clips, keep the laughter to a minimum. Finally, YouTube is rather addictive, so set a timer to watch no more than 10 minutes of videos so you can get back to work.

Declutter Your Desk and Desktop

When the stress kicks in during a long day at work, you can actually take some time out to declutter. You can choose to declutter your desk or workstation by getting rid of any unwanted items on your desk. Arrange any paperwork in a neat pile and lock away anything you don’t need in your desk. A cleaner desk may help to offload some of the stress you may be experiencing.

Another way to declutter is to clean out your desktop on your laptop or PC. We tend to fill up our desktops with documents when we need to find them faster. You can create folders on your hard drive to sort out your documents as well as delete any unnecessary documents.

Turn Off Your Monitor

Staring at a computer monitor for hours on end can not only harm your eyes and head but also spike your stress levels. One way to de-stress while at your desk is to turn off your monitor and look away from the machine for a few minutes.

This is the perfect time to take a tea or snack break while staring out the window. This is great for those who never find the time to eat, which can affect your energy levels while at work.

Another thing you can do when you switch off your monitor is to close your eyes and meditate for a few minutes. You can think of a dream holiday or a place that makes you feel relaxed and happy. This will bring down your stress levels, and then you can carry on with your work.

When meditating, try as much as possible to stay awake. When you’re exhausted at work, you can end up taking a nap without realizing it. This could work against you with your superiors.

More Tips and Tricks to Destress While at Work

  • Turn to Your Neighbor: When trying to deal with stress while at your desk, you can turn to a colleague next to you and have a chat. You might get some ideas on how to tackle your projects or generally try to find out how they are doing. Try to make sure you are not interrupting them.
  • Focus on Your Post-Work Plans: While at work, we tend to feel like the day is never-ending. One way you can turn the stress down is to make some post-work plans. This can be meeting up with a good friend, a dance class, a trip to the gym or any other activity that you consider fun and relaxing.
  • Write It Down: When you visit a counselor or therapist, one of the top exercises for any situation you are in is to write it down. This can also help when at work. You can take out a pen and paper and offload what is causing your stress and anxiety. Taking a look at the list you have written down can help you see what you can change or get rid of so you can concentrate on your work.
  Photo by Senivpetro / CC BY
Katrina McKinnon
Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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