Work stress is quite often a significant component of everyday life, and can be hard to handle when your financial well-being is directly tied to your job. While there can still be some stigma against mental health in the work place, attitudes toward such issues are changing. There may be resources either at or through your work place you may not even be aware of. Take a moment to look through your company’s website, or speak with someone in HR to find out more information on services/programs available to you. In the meantime, check out these tips on how to boost mental wellness in your work environment which you can start today.

Set reasonable goals
When there are multiple things that need to be done in a day the sheer volume of work can be overwhelming. It often helps to make a list, and prioritize the most important projects first. This gives you a sense of which things need to be done expediently, and which ones can wait until tomorrow.

Take a break
When we are at our busiest, particularly if there is a deadline involved, there can be a tendency to keep working without taking a break. People often think that if they work more, that things will get done better or faster. However, the key is to work better. Taking a break, even if for a few minutes can be very helpful. Breaks help to refuel the brain, recharge the body, and enhance focus. One of the best types of breaks is a brief walk, or stepping outside for fresh air. Exercise helps significantly with work stress, and getting outside provides an opportunity to think about things from a different point of view.

Don’t give up on self-care
When work is getting us down, and the stress starts to take over, there can be a tendency to let our self-care slide. Try not to sacrifice the things that help you recharge ie. monthly massage, quarterly haircut, dinner with friends once every other week. Keeping up on the things you find enjoyable can significantly reduce stress, and add to your quality of life.

Keep it healthy
Sometimes stress can lead to poor eating habits. We start scarfing down the donuts in the break room, or eating fast food instead of packing lunch, or even over-caffeinating ourselves because we’re having difficulty sleeping. If time is of the essence, and you’re finding it hard to make healthy meals every day. Keep a whole fruit or a protein bar in your desk or in your bag to be sure you have a healthy option available to you just in case.

If you’re struggling, don’t keep it to yourself
When times are tough there is a tendency to isolate. But the opposite is really what’s needed. Talking is a great way to get your thoughts out into the open. Whether it’s talking to a friend, family member, or confidante, the important thing is to get it out. Bottling our feelings is the path to burnout, exhaustion, and even depression. If talking to people close to you is daunting, or you feel that you would rather speak to an objective neutral party, therapy is a great place to start.

*Originally published on the Inpathy Bulletin

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