The work place can be very stressful sometimes. If you’re a creative person this is even more true for you. Creative people by nature are less rigid and more eccentric than your traditional office worker, so the corporate world can be tough for us (particularly if you are very sensitive or empathetic). So in order to help you get through the 9-5 I’ve put together a little post that I hope will keep you off the ledge or from slicing your ear off!
Try to relax, even in a crisis.
There will be those days that your boss or you supervisor is flipping out, either a deadline will becoming up or something will have gone wrong. You have to understand that becoming stressed or agitated is a CHOICE. If a supervisor or co-worker decides to make big deal out of something, you can simply choose not to.
Get some perspective and remember that no matter what they say, its not the end of the world. Regardless of weather a deadline is met, a typo is fixed or a project is completed, or a client is lost, tomorrow will come and go just like the day before, nobody is going to die, lose a limb, or go blind.
Take a deep breath and just work through whatever is needed, and focus on solving the problem, not stressing out about it. If you’re asked why you’re not moving more urgently or why you “aren’t taking this seriously”, simply reply that “I’m focusing all my energy on the task, worrying about it won’t help anything.” It’s the most reasonable and mature answer you can give and demonstrates a problem solving mentality.
Understanding the reality (or zen principle) that there is actual very little that is really important will help you at work and in your life, focus on your health, and your family and your happiness, no job is with hurting any of those things, always remember that!
Keep a small stash of candy or healthy snacks.
This next tip may not make sense to some of you until you really think about it. Part of managing stress is creating situations where you feel good rather than bad. Having a sweet or a piece of chocolate or candy when you are feeling a little stressed can be helpful, just don’t overdo it or make it a bad habit. Its a quick way to take the edge off and its cheaper than cigarettes or coffee.
Listen to music when possible.
If your job doesn’t have a policy against it I recommend listening to music when you can especially after lunch. Everyone knows by now that listening to music effects our personality, mood and energy. If you’re feeling worked up you can throw on something relaxing, or if you’re feeling down you can throw on something that will hype you up or put a smile on your face. After a large lunch I prefer to put on something that will make me feel energetic rather than tired. You may also want to try listening to some music just before you head into work to set your mood for the day.
Talking to someone.
Sometimes we all need to vent. The truth is unfortunately venting to co-workers is more often than not a mistake. Try talking to a friend or a family member about your situation and how you are feeling, and don’t wait till you get home, holding in your negative feelings all day, try and do it during a lunch break, or if you go out to smoke or if you’re running an office errand. It’s important to deal with your stress quickly and appropriately so it effects you less.
You also never know what perspective or insight an outsider will have for you. Don’t underestimate people’s ability to understand your situation or be helpful. Also don’t convince yourself you’re a burden to anyone, people want to help you and people seem to love giving advice, take advantage of it.
Take care of yourself, even at work.
When on the job people are prone to neglect themselves. They do silly things like work through lunch, don’t bother to stretch, let themselves become dehydrated, and a number of other things. Honestly this is just silly. You may have a job to do, but you are still a human being and have all the basic human needs that go along with that. You’re not any good to anyone if you’re not at a hundred percent, and you can’t be motivated to do your best work if you’re working through discomfort.
If there is anything your body needs when you’re at work, make sure you deal with it. Don’t let yourself work so long without eating anything that your blood sugar drops and you feel light headed. Don’t hold your bladder just to get through a task, it will get done just as quickly when you come back from the restroom. It’s silly for people to put themselves through this and even more so for employers to expect it. Its enough that you give your time, commitment and energy, to the job, do not under any circumstance give your health.
Create a positive environment.
If at all possible create the most positive environment you can. If you’re allowed to put a picture of your family on your desk, give yourself and inspirational desktop on your computer, even buy a potted planted if its allowed. Do whatever it takes to create an area gives you comfort and makes you feel safe and relaxed. This also means building good relationships with the people you work with, be kind and polite whenever possible and take a genuine interest in people and let them know they are appreciated. More often than not they will return the favor.
A positive and healthy employee who enjoys their days at work is more likely to be loyal and productive, they are also likely to live longer happy lives, which of course is simply just more important at the end of the day.