For many, the excess and merriment of the festive season gives way to a bleak and busy January. Under pressure from New Year’s resolutions and being back in the office after winter holidays, many workers feel their stress levels skyrocketing in January.
The International Stress Management Association offers the following tips on managing your stress so you can start the new year feeling productive and in control:
- Put yourself first by eating healthy foods, scheduling regular physical activity that you enjoy and managing your time effectively. Putting your needs first will put you in a better position to help others.
- Start to prioritise tasks. Choose your top three most urgent tasks each morning and make them a priority. Reschedule, renegotiate or delegate any tasks that don’t make the cut.
- Start to make time to relax and mentally unwind. Consider meditating for a few minutes each day to reduce anxiety and boost your immune system.
- Start to empathise with others. Be conscious of other people’s communication styles, and work to find solutions to problems together.
- Start to live life to the fullest. Appreciate what you have. In doing so, you may see opportunities for growth and learning.
- Stop ignoring your needs. Take short breaks throughout the day. Recognise how and when to say ‘no’, both at work and at home.
- Rid yourself of unnecessary distractions. Consider asking your colleagues and your family to help you prioritise which tasks are urgent and which tasks can wait.
- Stop allowing others to make you feel inferior. Accept yourself for who you are. Learn from past mistakes, and focus on the things about yourself that make you proud.
- Stop being judgmental. Adopting a flexible thinking style that includes being objective and understanding can improve your mental well-being.
- Stop avoiding the tasks you least want to do. When you put them off, they remain in the back of your mind and grow even bigger. Take control, and promise yourself a reward when you finish.
For more information on managing your stress, consult free guidance from the following organisations:
- Stress Management Society: stress.org.uk
- Mind: mind.org.uk
- NHS: www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/understanding-stress.aspx
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