Health Tips: Five ways to not let work stress take over your life

It is best to separate our personal and professional lives. Making a strict schedule of all the to-do things along with checklists can help people get more organized.

Seeking help from an expert can always their problems better and solve them efficiently.
Seeking help from an expert can always their problems better and solve them efficiently.

Tanaya Choudhury – Happiest Health

Manic Mondays often continue until the last day of the work week for most of us. Impromptu meetings, a hyperactive email inbox and calendar notifications, calls, and not-to-forget submission deadlines are what broadly describe these five days. Sadly, the list does not end there. Truth be told, even following a passion can stress one out. We gather a few simple steps that can help tackle manic weekday stress.

1. Identifying stressors
Stressors related to work can hamper our personal life. Hence, it is important to identify and address them.

For example:

One simple solution to dealing with an intimidating colleague is to cut short our conversation with them and focus on our work.

To overcome the stress associated with deadlines we can plan our work and complete it at the earliest. Moreover, we can talk to our in-charge about the challenges we face and relieve stress to a great extent.

Dr Lav Kaushik, consultant psychiatrist, at Sarvodaya Hospital and Research Centre in Faridabad, lists a few points that can help one identify stressors:

1. Keeping a journal to acknowledge everything, be it bad or good

2. Asking questions about things we do not like around us

3. Making checklists before doing things that can cause us stress

4. Talking about things that bother us to a therapist, a friend, or a family member

Kanchan Dhabhai, a senior manager at GreedyGame tells Happiest Health, “We organize fun activities now and then, because why not? A little laughter keeps everyone happy.” Dhabhai says that they make sure teams go on outings at least once in two months. They believe that this would give them some time outside the office premises to bond with each other leading to higher levels of understanding and harmony.

2. Taking time to recharge and learning to relax

Taking time from work and recharging ourselves is also important. Taking a short walk around the workspace, listening to music, doodling, or watching something that makes us laugh are some things we can do to feel better.

More specific ways of relaxing can be through meditation or breathing exercises. Moreover, we can practice mindfulness to keep ourselves calm and focused.

“My work requires interacting with others extensively. It can be exhausting sometimes as it gets very monotonous and hectic,” says Raj Das, who works as a sales executive for a company in Kolkata. Since he is always around his phone or laptop, he likes to keep them away and go for a 10-to-20-minute walk to a nearby park. This makes him feel fresh.
When he is swamped with work, he uses the meditation app he has on his phone to de-stress.

3. Learning to balance personal and work life

It is best to separate our personal and professional lives. Making a strict schedule of all the to-do things along with checklists can help people get more organized.

48-year-old JR Barman, a propaganda officer at a government hospital in Guwahati, Assam shares her story of how she manages to balance both. “If it is not an emergency and I know it can wait, I try to avoid them as I want to spend my after-office hours with my family.” But she had to learn to manage and balance her life the hard way when the stress got to her, and she had to consult a doctor. Even after hours, I continued to answer every phone that came in, but the strain got to be too much for me. I have learned that it is best to keep work-related stuff at the workplace and the same goes for one’s personal life.”

It is important to have clear boundaries. For example, if we have left our workplace, we can avoid doing or checking work-related emails, messages, or calls.

Time management

Work can be overwhelming, especially with the addition of seemingly insignificant but time-consuming matters. Procrastination can be a major factor that can hamper our ability to manage time. Managing time, having systems and processes to organize work, and prioritizing based on the importance of a task, can all help us meet deadlines. We can make important calls or read up on work-related documents during a long commute to save time.

Seeking counselling

Richa Tilak from Jorhat, Assam, is a 27-year-old higher secondary teacher. She also takes tuition to help students during exams. An increase in her workload took a toll on her mental health. “Teaching is my passion, but I had to take a break because I couldn’t handle the workload. She decided to speak with a psychologist during her leave. She had been able to better comprehend and manage the stressors thanks to weekly discussions with the psychologist. It’s crucial to acknowledge whether we’re depressed or stressed out.”

According to Bengaluru-based counsellor, Mamtha Rajesh, people can seek counselling even if they are looking for self-improvement. Seeking help from an expert can always their problems better and solve them efficiently.

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