02 May 2019
Stress is the restless nights of sleep, thinking of your to-do-list as you toss and turn for the millionth time on end. It’s lying awake at 2am playing candy crush and all your worst fears coming to reality as you wake up from a nightmare where most of your management had the courtesy of joining. Stress is waking up tired, even though you are positive that you got a few hours’ sleep, as you count them in desperation on your fingers.
Stress is wondering how to word an email properly, writing it three times over and reading it through triple the amount to make sure you didn’t mess up. You do not stop there… Oh no, you then go on your ‘sent mail’ in a complete panic to re-read it and ensure you sent it to the right person. Stress is refreshing your inbox repeatedly to see if this colleague replied to your email and convincing yourself that they must be busy and they will reply later.
Stress is the lack of confidence in yourself and those around you, it’s creating problems in your head which don’t even exist and wanting to fix them; ‘’did I reply to that email?’’, ‘’did I lock the office door when I left?’’, ‘’did I feed the office fish?’’, as you frantically bribe the security guard to go and check.
Stress is being super aware of everyone’s mood around you, so much so that the slightest shift in your colleague’s mood will convince you that you have pissed them off and they will never speak to you again.
I am proud to say that I care about the work that I do and the people I do it with…but that is what stress boils down to, caring about what you do and trying to do it to the best of your abilities. This means that stress to a certain point is not necessarily a bad thing, it is about finding a balance and training yourself on how to handle that stress through the tips below;
Learn how to relax
As I lay in bed, eyes wide open at 2am, going over everything I said in a meeting earlier that day , I started frantically googling; ‘’tips on how to fall asleep’’, ‘’when you have already tried counting sheep’’, ‘’am I ever going to sleep properly again?’’, I came across a meditation app called Headspace.
My first thought at the sight of a meditation app was – what a complete fad! But hey, what did I have to lose? I downloaded the app, picked a random sleep meditation and started listening. Before I knew it, I was waking up the next morning on a high!
Download a meditation app, try it – I dare you! They are a great way to decrease stress and calm your mind. Also, there are so many good apps to choose from nowadays, and the first few months are usually free too, so you will get a good night’s sleep and peace of mind for free.
Feedback is your FRIEND
If feedback is given in the right way, you need to see it as an opportunity to learn and grow, not as a personal insult or the chance to stress yourself silly.
Unfortunately, some employees still see the person giving them feedback as a huge brick in the wall they are trying to climb over. Please remember; when a colleague or manager are giving you honest feedback, their goal is to help you better yourself.
Start to seek out honest feedback, take action, keep growing and do not see it as a black cloud raining down on your parade.
Count your blessings every day
Take a few minutes a day and think of anything that you are grateful for; your job, partner, family, pet, TV series, food, musicals. We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things.
Thinking positive thoughts could counteract the negatives ones and reduce your stress levels. I can empathise, the least thing you feel like when your anxiety levels are through the roof is someone telling you to ‘’look on the bright side’’ – so avoid this happening and start your day with thinking of a number of reasons why you should smile!
In addition be your own best critic – practice boosting yourself up instead of beating yourself up.
Time to get your body moving!
If I had to be honest, I am a person who hates all things training… I love a long walk in the countryside, but that’s about it. It was only this year that I was forced to join the GO Gridsters – I say forced since my colleagues, best friend, and girlfriend are all taking part and I feel too guilty being a couch potato four times a week while they are out breaking a sweat.
No – I cannot say I am particularly enjoying the training part, or my muscles aching as I toss and turn in bed, BUT I’m happier because of the kick of dopamine I am getting, I’m feeling less ghost like during the day, plus my stress levels are much lower.
So join the Grid, start boxing, swimming, squash, running and get moving to a happier you!
Give yourself a screen break
Coming from someone who eats lunch at her desk on a daily basis, I am still a strong believer that your mind and body need a time out from your computer screen, in actual fact any screen, so give Facebook & Instagram a break! And no – online shopping, looking at Pinterest recipes or Tinder is still not considered a screen break.
So whether you take a walk around your block, go to your canteen for lunch, or spend time in your chill out area, give yourself that time to step back from the screen and relax.
Do not let Stress catch up with you
I always thought that bottling stress up and ignoring it would make it go away – naive right? I came to the horrible realisation that this was not the case, when one day I reached breaking point and ended up sitting in a puddle of my own tears (the colleague I sit next to always points out that I am slightly over dramatic – so don’t feel bad if you are thinking the same thing).
Research has found that seven in ten millennials wake up at least three times a week worrying, which is quite an eye opener. For this reason, no matter how high you think your threshold is, stress WILL catch up to you, so be proactive and deal with it head on!
Written by Emma Gatt
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