Although many people deal with stressful situations, they always seem to be magnified at work. This makes sense, of course, because many of us find ourselves at our desks in front of a computer screen for 40 hours or more each week. Needless to say, work is one of the most common causes of stress for people. Day in and day out, we deal with deadlines, demanding coworkers, and a never-ending stream of emails.
But what can you do to make life a little bit easier at work? In today’s post, the team at Two Rivers Counseling would like to discuss a few tips for dealing with stress that you can put into practice immediately. Will they solve every problem that comes up? Perhaps not, but they are therapist-approved techniques that will go a long way towards making your workday better. Keep reading to learn more.
Are You Feeling Overwhelmed at Work?
Take a Walk
One of the best things you can do when it’s starting to feel like dealing with work is just too much to handle is to excuse yourself and take a short walk. You don’t have to head out with the intention of solving the problem, but getting your heart rate up and getting away from your desk even for a couple of minutes can help you to clear your head.
If you’ve ever seen our therapist, Dr. Post-Holmberg, then you know that he’s a big advocate of taking a walk as a way of processing things. As he notes, taking a walk offers “the same bi-lateral right/left brain stimulation that for generations has helped people to think more clearly and move forward with their lives.” If you are dealing with stress at work and you need somewhere to start, try taking a walk.
Cultivate Your Surroundings
What does your desk look like at the office? For some, it holds a computer, a keyboard, and maybe a notebook. For others, it’s packed with papers, files, and clutter. The ideal desk setup probably lands somewhere in between.
Our advice is to create a calming environment for yourself as much as possible. For example, if your desk is feeling a little sparse, consider adding photos of friends or loved ones or a little something personal to help you enjoy it a little more. If it’s cluttered with papers, consider organizing everything into a filing cabinet.
The perfect solution is to do what you can to make your space feel right for you. Take a cue from interior designers and utilize colors to help soothe your mood — shades of blue and green are thought to work really well for this — or set up a plant or two and enjoy the relaxing properties and air-cleaning wonder of having a living thing on your desk. (A quick tip regarding plants — bamboos are easy to care for as long as they’re watered frequently, and succulents are a breeze as well, as long as you don’t overwater them. Find an option that works well for you, and give it a try!)
Use Your Breaks to Take Care of Yourself
What do you do on your lunch break? For some, the answer is that lunch usually involves a trip to get some fast food. From there, you might eat in the car and think about what’s going on at work. Our recommendation? Utilize your breaks to take care of the things you want to take care of. In other words, the best thing you can do is to practice self-care when given the opportunity.
In fact, getting outside of the office is a wonderful idea if you’re able to. Unfortunately, if you’re the type of person who likes to eat lunch while working, the truth is that one of the best things you can do for your body and for your mind is to get up and get away for a little while.
So what can you do during your lunch breaks to help break up your day in a meaningful way? One idea is to take advantage of your hobbies whenever possible. Do you enjoy reading? Take a book with you when you head into the office and start reading any time you take a break. Do you find that journaling helps you to process the things that are stressing you out? Take advantage of some downtime to write down how you’re feeling. Do you feel stress melt away when you’re watching birds at the park? Pack a healthy lunch for yourself and make the journey to the park. At the end of the day, if you can find little ways to take care of yourself throughout the day, you’re much more likely to not let stress build up at the office.
Are You Searching for a Therapist in Portland?
If you’re in need of a counselor in Portland, Dr. Post-Holmberg would love to meet with you. No matter what you’re going through, you can count on him to lend a helping hand as you process the difficult things in your life. If work is getting the best of you and you feel too stressed and overwhelmed to continue, seeking professional help is the way to go.
At Two Rivers Counseling, you can count on Dr. Post-Holmberg to listen deeply and carefully to what you’re saying. The end goal is to forge new pathways that are life-affirming no matter the situation. Call today for a free 15-minute phone consultation.