Are your workdays often filled with stress and challenging emotions? You’re not alone, it’s said that work-related stress, depression and anxiety account for up to 44% of work-related ill health and 57% of working days lost.
This impacts not only our mental and physical health but also our relationships with those we love.
While there will often be situations - and people - in our workplaces that are challenging to deal with, we can integrate habits into our day to cultivate mindfulness and prevent damage to our wellbeing.
These are simple habits that may seem too small to make a difference but I encourage you to integrate at least one of them into your day and see what a difference it can make…
START YOU DAY RIGHT
There’s a lot to be said for morning routines, I love mine but it’s evolved over time to become a set of rituals that help me wake up and start my day. Remember, there’s no right way to do this. Simply making time to nourish your body, rehydrate and exercise are all welcomed by your mind and body. Start small - a large glass of water, a healthy breakfast and getting a few extra steps into your morning all make a difference. Read more about creating a holistic morning routine.
When you take a few moments to connect with your breath, it can help to restore balance, lower stress and leave you feeling more in control of any situation. You don’t even have to leave your desk to do it, but please do if you can.
Sit comfortably and breathe in and out through your nose. Focus on the feeling of your breath moving through your body. Resist the urge to control it, just experience it coming and going naturally. As thoughts, emotions and sounds arise, don’t get involved with them, allow them to pass by like clouds while you stay present with your breath. Don’t worry if it feels like it’s not working, that’s okay…it gets easier with time.
CREATE REGULAR CHECK POINTS
How often do you roll from one task to the next on auto-pilot? Rushing around can easily cause overwhelm and stress. You can avoid it by creating short check-points throughout your day to recharge. It doesn’t take long to pause; take a few breaths, grab a glass of water, or enjoy a healthy snack to help regulate your blood sugar - any of these will help you be more present in your day and keep stress levels in check. Try creating at least two check-points in your day, morning and afternoon, but if you have a chance to enjoy more then please do.
LEARN TO RECOGNISE STRESS
Although stress in the workplace is common most of us bypass the early signs; increased heart rate, feeling irritable or anxious and headaches are all classic signs that something is wrong. If your stress is related to certain situations or people then try to remove yourself from those environments if possible. If not, then keep interactions short, clear and free of emotion, I know that this is easier said than done but try practising some of the techniques above…especially mindful breathing. When you know that a stressful situation is likely then take time to pause and breathe before and after the event to help restore balance before continuing your day.
These are all simple habits but please don’t overlook their ability to help cultivate mindfulness and reduce stress in the workplace. I’d love to know which one you’ll be trying, drop me a note in the comments below…
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.