7 Simple Tips for How to Relieve Stress from Work

how to relieve stress at work
Lana Otoya

Knowing how to relieve stress from work can be a challenge. Remember the day you got that phone call telling you got the job? You nailed the interview and your new job will start next week. You were so happy! Never did you think to yourself “yay! I finally found my source of daily never ending stress!”

We don’t start out by thinking our jobs are going to be the source of constant stress. Yet, they turn out that way for most of us. An article from CNBC stated that most american workers are stressed out most of the time and they had the statistics to prove it.

It’s time to take the pressure off by learning how to cope with office stress. Here are my 8 favourite tips on how to relieve stress from work.

how to relieve stress at work



#1 – Have a self care morning routine

Life is crazy. We have bills to pay. We have to wake up early when we don’t want to. The dog needs to be taken out for a walk. You need a system that will help you tackle the day to day without stress or anxiety. The start of that system should be a self care morning routine that works for you.

The routine should start your day on the right foot. It doesn’t need to be overly challenging (ie. running every morning) it just needs to be something you can rely on to make you happy every single day. Here is the self care morning routine that I use to get my days started on the right foot. Use this as inspiration to make one that works for you.

#2 – Make a Priority List

When you finally get to the office, before you start anything else, make a priority list. This is NOT the same as a to-do list. A to-do list is just a random list of things that need to be done eventually. A priority list are things that need to be done today.

The problem with a to-do list is that it can be overwhelming. Most of us have these huge lists of things that we need to do and just the thought of reading the giant list can be stress inducing. Instead, focus on the things that need your immediate attention and get those done first. The list of things to do will be smaller and less intimidating and it will be easier to maximize efficiency by getting the important stuff out of the way first.

Getting the important stuff done first also takes the pressure off of tomorrow. You’ll feel accomplished and you’ll be staying one step ahead of the game, which will reduce stress.

#3 – Action stops fear

Feeling stressed is closely related to feeling afraid. We often feel stressed when we have a lot of work to do. Suprisingly, the reason why we feel stressed isn’t because of the actual workload – it’s that we feel we don’t have enough time to get it all done. Then anxiety steps in because you start thinking of the consequences of not getting everything done at the right level of quality or in the right amount of time.

You might lose that big client. Your boss might get mad at you. You’ll let down your co-wokers. These are examples of the underlying fears we feel when we’re under a lot of stress. The good news?

Action stops fear

When you start acting upon something that is making you afraid, you start feeling less afraid. Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you have a huge portfolio you need to get done and your boss said it is due on Friday. Your fears (which result in stress) could be:

-Not meeting the deadline

-Not having the portfolio be up to standard

Now that you have outlined the fears that are related to your stress, you can start taking action. If you’re afraid of meeting the deadline, try asking for an extension. If you’re afraid the portfolio won’t be good enough, try seeing if you can get some help.

These are simple solutions and they won’t always work but the point here is that the more you act on your fears the less you feel them.

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#4 – Delegate

There is nothing wrong with asking for help! When I was working a stressful office job in the film industry, I always thought that asking for help would make me look weak. It would make me look like I couldn’t handle my own workload.

We want to be the best. We want to be seen as a go-getter that can handle everything. The last thing we want to be seen as is unqualified. The problem with this is that you’re robbing yourself of an amazing quality if you ask for help.

An amazing quality?

Yes. If you ask for help and delegate your tasks to others, you will be seen as a leader. 

Someone who knows their limit and knows how to efficiently use their resources (other people) to help them get the job done. This is how you get that big promotion! This is how you show your boss that you’re really worth someting. It is how you reduce stress so that you can always be working at maximum efficiency. Don’t try to be a one woman band – instead be the leader of the band and reap the rewards without sacrificing your mental health.

#5 – Stop Multi-tasking

In job interviews and even in job description it always says that you should be good at multi-tasking. I find this so ridiculous!

Whenever I’m in a job interview or talking about my working style to a manager or employer, I always say that I  never multi-task and they are always on board with it after I explain myself.

Multi-tasking means that your splitting your attention between multiple tasks. This DOES NOT increase the speed or efficiency that you are completing those tasks and INCREASES the chances that you’ll complete those task a lower quality.

Multi-tasking also increases stress because you feel like you’re trying to keep up with multiple things that are constantly demanding your attention.

It is so much better to focus on one thing at at time. Use your priority list to determine what needs to be done first and then stick to the plan. If something urgent comes up that cannot be pushed aside, stop what you were working on completely and get that other thing done first.

Doing this will make you more efficient, produce higher quality work and reduce your stress. It’s win win all around!

#6-Take (the right kind of) breaks

Taking your mind of things for a few moments is a fool proof way to reduce stress. The problem is that many people take breaks in the wrong way. Not only do you have to take a physical break from your desk by going for a walk or heading to the break room, you also have to take a mental break. This means actually taking your mind of things by not thinking about work.

When you go for a walk or take your lunch break, think about other things. Think about what you want for dinner, what comfy clothes you’re going to wear when you get home etc. Don’t take the stress with you.

Keep breaks short and frequent. I do this so that I don’t lose my “work mode” momentum. When I was working at an office, I would take these long lunch breaks (an hour or more) with a co-worker. We’d go for lunch and eat a big meal and by the time I got back, I was already in “home mode”.

My busy bee work ethic would be killed and I would procrastinate tasks until 5 o’clock. This was bad because procrastinating made me feel stressed and I would always pay the price the following day with a larger workload.

Avoid this pitfall by taking shorter breaks and eating light, energy inducing meals. Going for a brisk walk will help get the blood pumping and when you sit back at your desk you’ll be ready to go.

#7 – Practice Self Care at Home

Learning how to relieve stress from work doesn’t always have to take place at work. When you’re home, you can re-charge and reset your mind so that you’re ready to tackle the following day. Do this by relaxing and enjoying your time at home.

Find ways to reduce the weeknight tasks. Meal prep so you have dinners ready, alternate cooking duties with your partner, do laundry on the weekends etc. Remember that self care is not selfish and your family/partner will understand. Putting yourself first helps others. 

If you need help starting your self care journey, you’re going to love my FREE 10 Day Self Care challenge. Click here to learn more.

If you need personal guidance on relationships or self care, click here.

Hey you, thanks for checking out the blog and I wish you a happy day.

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