Feeling stressed at work? You’re not alone. In a 2022 survey from the American Institute of Stress, 83% of U.S. workers suffer from work-related stress, with 25% saying that their job is the number one stressor in their lives. This staggering amount of stress leads to one million Americans missing work each day because of stress, and it costs U.S. businesses $30 billion a year in lost workdays.
Because it’s National Stress Awareness Month, we compiled six tips to combat stress in the workplace.
Encourage Workplace Diversions
The team that plays together, works better together. Research has found evidence that play at work is linked with less fatigue, boredom, stress, and burnout in individual workers. Play is also positively associated with job satisfaction, sense of competence, and creativity. Studies show that when a participant receives a task that is presented playfully, they are more involved and spend more time on the task.
Whether it’s basketball hoops, puzzles or video games, play can mitigate the negative impacts of emotional exhaustion in high-stress jobs (specifically the healthcare industry, as detailed in one study). Additionally, play creates better interaction among workers, a better relationship between management and workers, and most importantly, laughter, which curbs stress.
Manage Your Day-to Day Tasks
Making a list of tasks to complete each day at work is a great way to manage what needs to get done. As you complete each task, cross it off the list and move onto the next task. There are countless organizational tools to help make this a reality past Post-it notes stuck to your desk cube. From The Bullet Journal to Asana’s task list to Jerry Seinfeld’s calendar strategy, the productivity industry understands that stress can mount up when faced with multiple tasks within a given week. Don’t let stress overwhelm you when faced with a growing list of tasks to accomplish. Figure out what’s top priority and go from there.
Designate A No Meeting Day
Once a week, protect your time and designate a day to meeting-free, focus time. According to organizational psychologist Adam Grant, author of “Think Again” and host of the ReThinking Podcast, “To make room for deep work, schedule one untouchable day each week. No meetings or phone calls unless they're both urgent and important.”
According to this MIT study, one meeting-free day per week curbed stress by 26%, and five meeting-free days per week culminated in a 75% drop in stress at work. That’s huge!
Take Walk Breaks
Simply put, walking can help relieve stress, giving you time to think, away from potential stressors. It’s a change of atmosphere, a chance to get a recharge from the sun, and allows you to collect valuable steps on your Fitbit. A study published in 2018 showed that even a short bout of walking lasting just 10 minutes can improve mood, and it can additionally help chronic chair sitters stay healthy, according to Gizmodo.
Use Your Vacation Time
This should be a no brainer, but a lot of us, myself included, are hard to pull out of the cubicle. And that’s not doing good for anyone, from employee to employer. Taking vacation time, or even vacation days, allows us to be better rested. And according to Corporate Wellness Magazine, “Rested employees are more productive employees.”
According to the American Institute of Stress, “40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful.” And we know that stress is a strong contributor to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, decreased immune defenses, stomach and sleep problems.
Here’s where vacation comes in: A study released by the American Psychological Association concluded that vacations work to reduce stress by removing people from the activities and environments that they associate with stress and anxiety. Not only that, a nine-year study from 2000 found that vacations actually reduce the risk of heart disease for both men and women.
So yes, vacation is good for your health, alleviates stress and perhaps even advocated by your health insurance provider.
Visit Restore Hyper Wellness
Let’s take a second to think about how we can embrace Hyper Wellness as a way to slow down and destress. Infrared Sauna offers the perfect space to relax while getting your sweat on. Red Light Therapy is a soothing service that may help boost your mood and optimize sleep. And lastly, Cryotherapy may help the body relieve stress and refresh your mood.