Ten Ways to Beat Workplace Stress

by Hannah Nicholas

Stressed-out from your job? There's no getting away from it — workplace stress is a fact of life these days, but to stop it getting on top of you, follow our tips.

1. Laugh
It might sound simplistic, but sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. Share a joke with colleagues or do something to make you laugh out loud every now and then.

2. Exercise
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, wellbeing and stress levels. Start an office lunchtime touch or soccer team, or hit the pavement, pool, or gym for aion and watch your work troubles melt away.

3. Try stress-relieving techniques
Think yoga, meditation, essential oils, massage or simply keeping a stress ball in your desk drawer.

4. Look after your physical health
Healthy body, healthy mind. Your physical health should always be your number one priority. If you're not in shape physically, it will affect all areas of your life — including your performance at work and your ability to tolerate stress. Exercise, provide fuel for your body by eating regularly and healthily, and take time out to relax.

5. Take a holiday
Most of us are allocated four weeks' annual leave each year under our employment contracts, but the majority of New Zealand workers rarely take it. Remember, it's there for a reason: to provide you with some much-needed R&R, so book a trip. The knowledge that you'll soon be hitting the beach or the hiking trail somewhere remote or exotic can also help you get through tough times in the office.

6. Get some sleep
The average person needs eight hours of pure, uninterrupted sleep a night and without it you could be running on adrenaline, craving caffeine and sugar to keep you alert — all which can up your stress levels.

7. Limit the overtime
Work smarter not harder. As much as you can, stick to your normal working hours. This will improve your work/live balance by allowing you time to wind down from your day and spend time with your loved ones, flatmates or family.

8. Enjoy the weekends
Make sure you take time out on the weekends to do what you enjoy. Switch off from work — turn off your mobile and don't check your e-mails — and try to let work stress dissolve for those precious two days a week.

9. Create a pleasant work environment
Make sure your desk has a little bit of "you" to remind you of your life and loves outside of the office. Include photos, postcards, flowers, pot plants and any other knick-knacks to brighten up your work space.

10. Look for a new job
If you've tried all these things and you're still stressed at work, maybe you're just not happy where you are and it's time to move on. Finding a new job could boost your confidence — and ultimately be the key to overcoming your stress levels.

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