In case you haven’t known, I have trade off my hectic stethoscope-wearing job to an administrative work at a healthcare sector. Many may assume that working in the office would be less hectic or stressful than working as a doctor but an office job can have its own challenges & stresses too.
One thing I noted working in abroad which I view as an advantage is that unique circumstances sometimes propel you in a direction you never thought you would be given a chance to try. So in end of 2016, I said, “yes” to a healthcare administrative job because as my mantra in life goes, “To Explore Life’s Surprises.”
I noted that people who doesn’t work in a 8to5 desk job would readily assume that office work is so chill. Like any job, stress can inherently creep in. But I am not writing about the stresses here. Rather, I am offering tips that I have created & shared with friends on how to combat stress at the office. Since I am all for stress management and creating joy in our daily lives, I hope these tips would help the many office-workers everywhere.
Here are the 10 Tips on How to Manage Stress at the Office:
1. Arrive work 15 mins earlier
It may sound counterproductive to pushing yourself and stressing yourself to wake up earlier to go to work but you will thank me later. Arriving to work without rushing because you are late gives you a calmer start of the day. It allows you to organise your desk or review what are the things you need to do for the day.
2. Create a Start-of -the-Day Routine
Arriving early to work can allow you to have this start-of-the-day routine. For me, I start it by reading a verse from one of my favorite saint, St. Josemaria Escriva. Then I follow it up with a prayer of guidance for the day. Then I review my to-do list for the day. I feel prepared to start my day.
You can opt to do meditation or write gratitude list. It is up to you how you want to do your relaxing start-of-the-day routine.
3. Sip some herbal tea
Tea has a calming effect and sipping it while working can help in silencing some anxieties looming around.
4. Identify your peak hours
Peak hours are the time when you feel most alert and energetic. So tackle the “hard” work items during these hours and schedule the easy ones on the hours when your energy seems pretty low.
5. Schedule routine breaks (if possible)
You can have a mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks (if your schedule allows) even for 5 mins. You can do breathing exercises, visualisation, recite affirmations in your brain or drink your coffee/tea with snacks. A little break can allow yourself that healthy pause to work effectively.
6. Get some sunshine during lunchtime (if possible)
Sunlight helps lift up people’s mood, study shows. Being coop up inside the office for a greater number of the day can be depressing and claustrophobic.
7. Hydrate yourself
Besides the tea or coffee, hydration is also important so make sure to drink water while working. Dehydration can cause mood swings and electrolyte imbalances.
8. Build good relationships with your colleague.
One crucial factor in the happiness of people in their work is their workmates. If you are harbouring negative feelings towards your colleagues, stress & anxieties can manifesting leading to poor performance. It helps if you have good rapport with your colleagues. Authentic friendships can also be created when you work with like-minded individuals. But you do not have to force friendships if it doesn’t happen organically, a positive rapport would be enough. Better yet, healthy boundaries are helpful too.
9. Make a list of the things you need to do for the next day
I normally would do this by the end of the day. So it allows me to know what I have accomplished for the day and what are the pending items. So by the next morning when I see the list, I have a direction of what I will do for the day.
10. Put inspirational quotes or photos of your loved ones in your desk or cubicle/office wall
Know your ‘whys’. Why are you working so hard? Why do you need to get up early in the morning? Why are you here? We work for our families. We work for our own self-actualisation. We work because we simply love our job. Put reminders on your office space to allow you to be inspired why you are working.
Hope these list is helpful to those who work in offices or in a flexible timeframe. Let me know if you have any other tips you can add.
P.S. Maybe one of these days, I will create a list to manage stress in a clinic or hospital.