Growing your business
10 ways to de-stress at work
It’s no secret that the working day can be incredibly full on, especially when you’re running your own business; there are new projects to deal with, events to attend, staff and customers to tend to, and finances to balance too.
For some people, this can be physically draining, for others it can be mental, and for some people it can both. That’s why mental wellbeing awareness and practices are – and should be regarded as – so important in our day to day lives.
Earlier this year, Liberis signed the Time For Change Employer Pledge. This is a movement working to change the way we think and act about mental health, so our team have put together an exciting action plan for offering mental wellbeing support and challenging the stigma around mental health at work.
As such, here are just 10 of our favourite techniques that can support your mental wellbeing and help you feel a little happier and healthier at work each day.
1. The To-Do List
A to-do list helps people compartmentalise each task they’ve got to do and prioritise the most important and pressing tasks first. It also stops you from forgetting any smaller tasks—and in some cases, you might be able to delegate some of these other tasks to colleagues or subordinates. But how can a list documenting your workload possibly help you feel less stressed?
It’s the sense of achievement and task management! As you work through your to-do list, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment at your productivity, and this feeling helps you to remember your purpose in your role. We recommend that you go into as much detail as possible with your list, and never forget to tick off a task once you’ve completed it.
2. Improve Wellbeing With An EAP
Smart and compassionate employers know that work and life can be a stressful combination at the best of times, both for themselves and their employees.
That’s why an employee assistance programme (EAP) is such an effective investment for helping to reduce stress – Liberis have just signed up to one too! The best EAPs come with features such as in-person counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) sessions, finance management and debt & legal advice, online software to assess physical and mental health, and email, telephone, or live chat counselling on a 24/7-365 basis.
Whether you’re an employer or an employee, have a look into wellbeing programmes; you’ll be helping both yourself and your colleagues.
3. Eat More Of The Good Stuff
Junk food can often appear the answer when you’re feeling stressed. But in fact, the excessive sugar and saturated fat is likely to make you feel worse. Instead, we recommend you think about today’s food . . . yesterday by preparing food ahead to time to ensure you cover a good balance of food groups.
You’ll feel less ‘clogged’ inside and your skin, hair, teeth, and weight will all benefit. You’ll sleep better and save money too! Plus you won’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain during your lunchtime saunter to the shop.
Whether it means hitting the gym, attending yoga classes, or installing a treadmill and some dumbbells in your home – it can be hugely beneficial to your mental health if you get exercise. Aerobic exercise, such as yoga, walking, swimming, cycling, rowing or running, helps you relax by reducing the level of your body’s stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates your body’s production of endorphins, which can help to lift your mood.
Mix healthy eating with exercise too: if you’re going for an aerobic session after work, have a carb-based lunch, like pasta. And after your exercise, repair your muscles with a good portion of protein.
5. Have A Laugh!
Laughter’s great. We feel calmer and more relaxed after a good bout of laughter. It’s hard to feel sad, angry or anxious while you’re laughing or immediately afterwards. So whether it means finding a joke book, befriending the comedian amongst your staff, or putting on a sitcom or funny podcast in your lunch break, get yourself some more laughter!
6. Request Flexible Working
Of course, working flexibly won’t work for every business, but having the option can be a brilliant stress-reliever for those with difficult commutes, childcare matters, or other commitments. As an employer, make sure to discuss your flexible working policies with your teams so you can set up the most productive, healthy workspace for your company.
7. Squeeze in a Power Nap . . .
Google, Ben & Jerry’s and Nike are all big corporations that recognise the value of well-rested employees. Google even has nap pods in its offices!
Sometimes an afternoon recharge might be all you need to make the most of your after lunch work hours, whether that’s a full power nap or just a little downtime. You might find that your productivity levels go up, and your stress levels down afterwards.
8. Turn It Up
Like all mental wellbeing recommendations, this technique simply won’t work for people in certain jobs. And in some cases, involving operating equipment, for example, will not be safe.
Music can have a significant influence on our mood and concentration – and it’s almost guaranteed to distract you less than the sounds of telephones ringing all day or background conversation that you’d rather not listen to. If appropriate for your job, get those headphones on and get listening to some of your favourite tracks!
Whether you enjoy scribbling checkerboards on a page now and then or you’re working on your next short story, keeping a notepad to hand can be great while you’re at work – and not just for work notes!
As we get stressed, we can get nervous and anxious, so sometimes we need to burn that energy off. Working on the basis that there isn’t a punchbag or swimming pool in every workplace, taking your notebook and pen for 60 seconds and doodling or writing can be a great way to de-stress.
10. Take Time To Meditate
Meditation, or practising mindfulness, is an excellent way of grounding your thoughts and taking a moment to reset. Close your eyes, and breathe deeply but slowly. Visualise a peaceful location—perhaps your favourite beach or hiking region, and spend a couple of minutes imagining the sensations that come to you while you’re actually there. What do you see, smell, feel, hear, taste?
While you’re on this journey, if any nagging, stressful work thoughts break into your mind, try to acknowledge them, and then release them. Always return your thought process to the peaceful location and its sensory experiences.
Employee wellbeing should be as high a priority as possible, so why not start today! When employee wellbeing increases, so too do productivity and business success.