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5 Easy Ways to Manage Stress from Work

Tatum SavageLast Updated: June 17, 2020

Stress happens to all of us at work. Maybe it happens sporadically, or maybe every single day of your existence is plagued by it. Stress might be the one thing we all have in common. No matter how it comes, or the intensity at which it comes, these 5 tips will help you. 

Spread Out Meetings

Talk to your team and decide when you’re most productive. For the majority of the Flow team, it’s first thing in the morning. It makes sense then to leave that time uninterrupted, and instead schedule meetings in the afternoon. While this isn’t always the case, we try our hardest to play by this rule.

We’ve also recently implemented one day a week where we have no company meetings. Every Thursday is completely meeting free. While it was a bit awkward at first, over the last few weeks it has become a day we all look forward to. You don’t have to report to anyone, worry about meetings going over, or your workflow getting interrupted. For most of us it’s now our most productive day of the week!

Make Time for Breaks

This one speaks for itself, but it’s still difficult for a lot of people to put into action. How many times have you sat at your desk, eating with one hand, while you work with the other? Or you bring a snack to your desk to read emails, reports or respond to a message. Not allowing yourself time to take a break and decompress is certainly  not healthy.

Force breaks into your schedule. Whether that means a 5 minute walk around the block, grabbing coffee with a friend, or just standing outside and breathing in fresh air. How the breaks look is up to you, as long as you are taking time to step away from your work. 

Practice Mindfulness 

Mindfulness is a therapeutic practice that encourages you to be present in each moment. When working it’s pretty common to turn on autopilot and check out of the actions we’re taking. Or to let our minds wander to something else, which then becomes a distraction. Being mindful puts us back into that moment and encourages us to acknowledge and be aware of the emotions we have at that time. 

The next time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed at work, take a moment to be mindful. Take a few deep breaths, and focus in on exactly what is stressing you out. Once you can identify the activity that makes you feel stressed it’s easier to either remove that stress, or address it directly. 

Keep a Clean and Tidy Work Area 

Whether you’re working in a big home office, or have a little cubicle at work, having a messy or cluttered work area can be detrimental to your focus, and work. 

This doesn’t mean adopt a minimalist aesthetic and turn your workspace into a concrete slab with a macbook on top. Instead, it’s the little things. Like clearing cups or plates once they’re empty, putting waste into the garbage or compost after it’s created, o rkeeping your equipment clean and your area organized. 

This might be hard at first, so start with baby steps. Tell yourself once a day that you’ll take away dishes or waste. And maybe once a week you make sure your equipment is clean and tidy. Start small and build moments of tidying into your workday and in no time you’ll experience the comfort of an unburdened workspace. 

Get Your Body Moving

A 2016 study shows that walking 5 minutes every hour you’re sitting can improve your cognitive function, mood, and energy.  If you can, get outside for some fresh air during your walk. If that’s not possible, just do whatever you can to get your heart rate up. 

You don’t have to do a Zumba class on your lunch break, or bust into a jazzercise routine in your kitchen (even though we’d love to see that!) Try to take the long route to the kitchen when you take back dishes. Or find a quiet place to stretch and do breathing exercises. Start with small changes and in no time you’ll have built 5 minutes of exercise into a habit!

Do you do anything different to manage your stress from work, or have you tried one of our above tips? Let us know on Twitter @getflowapp and share your experience!