For the second year in a row, May has proven to be a very stressful time for me at work. One of my largest clients has weeks of planning, which involves research and hours of conference calls, that all culminate in a week of non-stop back-to-back meetings.
My already-challenging job is kicked up a notch, and I find myself getting really mindful about managing my stress. So, I’ve decided to take a quick break from the grind and write today’s post on six ways we can de-stress our work-at-home worlds.
1. Foster a Mellow Environment
One distinct advantage we have in our home offices that we probably wouldn’t get in a traditional office space is that we get to be the interior decorators and space planners. The color of our walls, office layout, plants or no plants, lighting, music, artwork, and picture choices are all under our complete control.
So, if scented candles or aromatherapy helps you to calm your nerves, you can enjoy without any judgment. Or, if you like cranking heavy metal when you need to blow off some steam, so be it. Or, want to paint your walls a soothing pastel color? Go for it.
This is your space, so, design it in such a way that it helps to bring you to your “happy place.” Goosfraba!
Related Content: 10 Ways to Show Your Office Love While Working From Home
2. De-Clutter Your Workspace
I am not a neat freak. Sometimes my desk gets so downright cluttered that a passerby might wonder how in the world I get anything done.
At times, this fact doesn’t bother me, but when my stress levels start to climb, the mess only makes me feel more overwhelmed and out of control.
Taking 15 minutes to neaten up and organize my workspace does wonders for my stress level. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to step away from the scenario I’m troubleshooting through in my work and focus on something else for a few minutes.
Happiness Guru, Gretchen Rubin, actually has an interesting 21 Day Project on Decluttering Your Life on her website if you need some help in this area.
3. Take Care of Your Physical Needs
I know. I know. Everyone harps on this one so much it makes me crazy, too. But, the truth is, eating well, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising regularly helps us to cope with stress and to even handle work struggles with a completely different perspective.
Taking care of yourself in the moment is helpful, too. It is amazing what a short walk or some purposeful breathing exercises will do for our state of mind when we are in the thick of it.
4. Change Your View of Stress
We are all going to face stressful situations at times. But, our internal perceptions of that stress plays a big factor in how we are going to handle tough times when they come. If you have been avoiding viral YouTube videos, you may have missed this interesting TEDTalk by Health Psychologist Kelly McGonical on “How to make stress your friend.” According to McGonigal, stress is only bad for us if we believe it to be, and we are best served when we endeavor to make connections. At 14 minutes, it is well worth the watch and would make for a great mini-break during a challenging workday.
5. Look Forward to Better and Brighter Things
I have some great plans for the summer. So, when I have felt my blood pressure rise, I’ve taken a moment to think about my vacation plans, some personal projects I am working on, or a ladies night I have on my calendar next month. Whatever your “better and brighter” is, taking a moment to focus on something else helps you to see the big picture. Your WHOLE life isn’t about this one, temporary challenge.
6. Kindly Help Others to Understand That Even Work-at-Home Professionals Have Stress
There is this misperception that as a work-at-home woman, I don’t experience the same level of stress as those who are in a traditional working environment. I think people imagine that when times get tough, I go lounge on the couch and enjoy another episode of Ellen. But the truth is, I think things may be more stressful in a home office environment. Why? Because one doesn’t have the closure or ability to physically leave the stress behind like they do in a conventional office.
Also, that temptation to work longer hours and sacrifice personal time is easier to feed, after all, your office and all that work is beckoning to you from across the house. I find myself reminding my family that my job is every bit as demanding as it used to be when I worked in a traditional office, and I have gotten a lot better about asking for help or a sympathetic ear when I need one (and they gladly oblige … how does that saying go? If Momma ain’t happy, no one’s happy.)
Here are some tips I am employing in my own life as I get through this hectic season. I’m sure you have lots of great ideas, too. What do you do to manage stress? Please share your tips with us now!
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Christy Schutz is a communications professional, and freelance writer focused on topics like employer/personal branding, career management, personal development, women in the workplace, and female entrepreneurs. She enjoys putting 16+ years of experience in the advertising, recruitment marketing, employee/internal communications, and special events industries to good use by helping others to discover, develop and market their own distinct calling or mission. This Tampa Bay, FL-based Mom also keeps herself busy by raising four kids, caring for her husband & doting on her dogs Petey and Daisy!