No matter how many deep breaths you take or how many yoga classes you attend, there are always going to be days when the stress gets to you. How you handle that stress depends on your mindset.
“Stress is more often than not a state of mind,” says Joshua Zuchter, a business and life coach in Toronto. “So managing stress means managing your mind and anything that affects your mind.”
To reduce and manage stress, even on busy days, follow this advice from Zuchter:
1. Stay healthy
Take care of yourself to keep your stress level in check.
“If we have poor health,” says Zuchter, “we’re not going to be able to manage stress as well.”
For example, one easy way to promote general health and manage stress is to drink plenty of water, he says. Dehydration can cause irritability and make it difficult to cope with stress.
2. Take a break
Stop for a moment to get stress under control at work.
Take a break and go for a walk, says Zuchter, to help manage stress and make it easier to get through the day.
3. Talk about it
Let your spouse and family know if work is stressful. This should help avoid adding to your anxiety level at home.
If your family doesn’t know that things are stressful at work, says Zuchter, they won’t understand what’s wrong when they notice your behaviour is unusual. They will only see that you are worried, withdrawn or tired.
“Let them know it’s going to be a long week,” he says. “At the same time, see if you can delegate some of your duties at home.”
4. Stay in the moment
Focus on one task at a time to minimize stress during a hectic day at the office.
Avoid thinking of all the things you need to get done tomorrow, says Zuchter. Instead, focus on what you need to accomplish right now.
5. Manage your time
Work on your time-management skills to reduce stress, says Zuchter. Many people don’t realize how much time can be wasted in a day.
For example, instead of constantly answering emails, he says, schedule one to three times during the day specifically for responding to emails. That way you can work on a task without being distracted by a new message.
You can also designate time for other tasks, he says, such as meetings or phone calls, to further make better use of your time.