If you’re feeling physically and emotionally exhausted after a full-on week at work, then it’s time to take stock. Symptoms like these are often accompanied by feelings of cynicism about work and self-doubt and can lead to mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression.
In fact, workplace stress causes 120,000 deaths in the US each year. Not exactly a peachy outlook.
The picture doesn’t look much better for the businesses themselves either.
Health care costs driven up by the rising stress levels can negatively impact economic growth through impaired productivity, says Global Wellness Institute economist Thierry Malleret.
“What will it take to meaningfully address the issues of stress and burnout that stem from our new “always-on” culture?” he asks.
“More than just yoga and meditation classes… A culture change is needed.”
Are you taking the right step to maintain balance in your life?
Here are a few suggestions:
Limit the caffeine
It’s all too easy to keep shooting those espressos while you’re under the pump but the reality is, although they may be helping you feel more alert, they’re also jacking up your levels of cortisol – the stress hormone.
If you are really in need of a boost, then opt for green tea instead. Packed with antioxidants, the brew can also give you those caffeine perks minus the on edge feeling.
Get plenty of sleep
The benefits of sleep are often overlooked. This is when your body does its recovery, resetting for the next day so if you’re pushing yourself hard, then it becomes more valuable than ever.
The optimal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but if you’re waking up groggy and bleary-eyed rather than bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, then it’s likely you’re not getting enough.
Cut down the boozing
Stressful circumstances can often see you reaching for a glass, if not a bottle, of wine at the end of the day. It may seem like a way of winding down at the end of the day, but the reality is that the plonk may actually contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety thereby making stress harder to deal with in the long run.
It also results in poor quality sleep which will only aggravate the problem.
Switch those devices off
Our “always-on” lifestyles enabled by modern technology make it difficult for us to be present in the moment and to simply switch off. Try to give yourself time each day to think about other things, breathe, enjoy even a small moment without emails weighing heavy on your mind.
Importantly, make the bedroom a sanctuary – leave the mobile on charge downstairs and improve your chances of getting a better night’s sleep.
Have a mindful moment
Even if you don’t have time for a yoga or meditation class, you can set a reminder on your phone or download a mindfulness app like Mindful that will prompt you to take a moment to breathe and remove yourself from the stresses and strains that surround you.
Just a change of scenery or a breath of fresh air can work wonders.
Get some exercise
When the doodoo hits the fan, a gym session is usually the first thing to get cut.
But making time for that workout will keep those all-important endorphins pumping and will enable you to return to the grindstone with a clear head and a fresh perspective.
How do you stay grounded when work gets a bit crazy?