Today’s overworked employees are under more stress than ever. Unfortunately, a mountain of studies link stress with severe health problems, productivity drops and even premature death. These stress-busting tips from Brigid Ashwood for Wired will help you feel more at ease while on the job.
- Stay off social media. Ashwood calls Facebook out in particular as a “deep pool of negativity and stress.” Instead, use one of the many third-party apps on the market to post to Facebook without logging in.
- Gravitate toward energy givers. Some people are energy vampires, sucking your positivity away without a care. Others are energy givers, and being in their presence lifts your spirits. Do your best to find these mood-lifters in person; in a pinch, follow funny people online instead. (Ashwood recommends George Takei and Myles Pinkney.)
- Turn off your television. TV is awash in negativity. If you like working with background noise, try music, podcasts or audio books instead.
- Take care of yourself. Help your body fight stress by taking care of it. Stay hydrated, cut back on caffeine, eat a nutritious diet, get a full night’s rest and exercise.
- Have a “sick” day. Use this day to rest and recharge as you please. “While too much TV or the wrong kind can be bad for you, for some of us, a day off to watch our favorite geeky movie franchise or television show is just what we need,” writes Ashwood.
- Set limits. If you’re already feeling stressed, Ashwood recommends turning down new projects and favors for a set time frame — two or three months, perhaps — so you can get caught up.
- Keep your friends in the loop. Some people blow off steam by venting their frustrations to friends. This can add to your stress levels. Ashwood puts it nicely: “Tell your friend that while you respect their need to upload, you are not a compatible drive for this information.”
- Proactively choose positivity. This “fake-it-till-you-make-it” approach forces you to give others the benefit of the doubt and can also help fight your stress.
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