We all have stress. It comes in different forms, it affects all of us in different ways, but it makes all of our lives harder. Working at a university means that the end of August through to the end of September is pretty awful, work-wise. Thousands of students who all want things done immediately mean that I will be non-stop from start to finish of every day. Relaxation at work seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, but I have a plan to stay relaxed and motivated throughout the stress!
I lay out my clothing for the entire week on Sunday evenings- I check the weather, I check my schedule to see if I need to wear anything specific, and I plan out my clothing for the week. It means that I am weather appropriate, event appropriate, and I don’t have to panic in the morning looking for something to wear. Preparing everything on Sunday also allows me to iron and hang everything in order to avoid wrinkles and creases!
2. Eat Healthy
I also try to make my lunch in the evening prior. If I know that I will be out for a weekday evening, I try to make two days worth of lunches on two days before. I am going to try and make meals on the weekends and then freeze them for lunches for the next month. If you make your lunch last minute, chances are you will grab whatever is convenient, not what is healthy for you!
3. Keep Moving
The ideal option would be taking a gym class at lunch, but if I can’t, I’m still going to get out for a run or a walk on my lunch! I’ve written ad nauseum about the benefits of exercise, but I feel it the most at work. Getting your blood pumping, getting away from your desk and work, and taking a mental and physical break from the stress of a desk makes a huge difference in your mental health. It is better for both you and your coworkers if you stay on your a-game, and that includes taking breaks!
4. Take Your Breaks
I am entitled to two 15 minute coffee breaks and one hour long lunch hour. Many people, myself included, have a tendency to work through our breaks. It’s easier to stay at your desk, you are on a roll with something you are doing, you don’t want to make it harder on your coworkers if you are gone when it’s busy. However, everyone needs their breaks- it’s as simple as that. Take your breaks, refresh yourself, and you will be a better worker and coworker for it!
5. Stay Positive
Do what you need to do to stay positive at work! I have pictures of M and Daisy and Loki at my desk, I have a stuffed squirrel from one of my best friends tucked around my computer, and I have a gorgeous tea mug from one of my Alpha Gam sisters. I wear my Kate Spade polar bear watch from M, I wear my favourite scarves from the UK and Ireland, and I wear clothes that make me feel good. I have my favourite teas on hand, ready to go! All of those little things make a difference when you are having a tough, stressful day. And yes, that is a picture of a happy Westie- one of the things that I do to relax is look at pictures of dogs on Instagram. (I pretty much just have Instagram for the dogs. #Dogstagram for the win!)
So, what’s the summary of all of this?
How do you stay relaxed, positive, and upbeat during the harder times at work? Please comment with your tips and advice- we can all use it!