Five Tips to Tap Your Inner Calm

Feeling Stressed Out at Work? Five Tips to Tap Your Inner Calm

As Mental Health Awareness Month rolls around, it reminds us that between the endless emails, back-to-back meetings, and looming deadlines, there is a crucial aspect of our lives that’s often brushed under the corporate carpet—our mental health. In the whirlwind of trying to keep up with the Joneses of productivity, it is easy to forget that our brains need a breather, too.

This month, we’re spotlighting the silent struggle many people face behind their desks and laptops, especially in high-pressure jobs. In this spirit, let’s explore Arbind’s journey as a professional in billing and accounting, navigating the high tides of fiscal year-end pressures. We’ll share practical tips and insights on de-stressing at work or anywhere you find stress as your companion.

When Stress Arises

The Scene: Arbind Gupta’s office, TurboLoaders Logistics

As the clock ticked like a time bomb toward six p.m., Arbind, a senior accountant, felt like he’d been racing through the day. The end of the fiscal year was looming large, and the pressure to meet targets was mounting. Earlier, Arbind discovered that a crucial task had slipped through the cracks. In addition, someone pushed up a meeting unexpectedly, leaving him scrambling. To add to the chaos, his manager requested several follow-up reports requiring a mountain of data and analysis. Overwhelmed, Arbind felt a throbbing behind his temples and a tightness in his back. He was tired but knew it would be another night that wouldn’t sleep well.

Maybe you know the feeling.

Mental Health Awareness Month reminds us that successfully navigating these pressures is crucial to maintaining our well-being. Here are some effective strategies to de-stress at work that Arbind would soon turn to in his moment of need.

Five Ideas to Reduce Your Stress in the Workplace

  • Take Mindful Breaks

Pause for a moment. Step away from your desk and take a deep breath. Even a five-minute break to practice mindfulness can significantly reduce stress levels. Focus on your breathing, the sensations in your body, or the sounds around you. It’s a simple yet powerful way to center yourself amidst chaos.

  • Prioritize and Organize

When tasks pile up, prioritize them. Identify what needs immediate attention and what can wait. Organizing your workload can provide a more straightforward path forward and prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed. Utilize tools and apps designed to aid in task management.

  • Communicate Openly

Feel free to communicate with your team and manager. A conversation is necessary if deadlines are unrealistic, or the workload is too much. Sometimes, simply voicing your concerns can lead to solutions and support from unexpected quarters.

A chat with a colleague can be a form of relief in itself. Seek out a companion who’s known for their cheerful personality, those infamous Dad jokes, or who by holding space for you with a listening ear, reminds you that “You got this.”

  • Incorporate Physical Activity

A quick walk or a brief stretch session can do wonders for your mental state. Physical activity releases endorphins, or happiness chemicals, which are natural stress relievers.

  • Create a Personalized De-stress Kit

Your “kit” could be a playlist of calming music, a collection of essential oils, or a few photographs that bring you joy. Whenever you feel the pressure mounting, take a moment to engage with your de-stress kit.

Arbind’s Turnaround

Arbind remembered the advice about taking mindful breaks in the thick of his stress. He stepped outside for a brief walk, focusing on his breathing and the rhythm of his steps. This simple act offered him a new perspective and calmed his racing thoughts. With a clearer mind, he tackled the reports methodically, prioritizing tasks and communicating his progress with his manager.

But the day’s challenges didn’t end there. Upon arriving home, Arbind encountered a domestic miscommunication that threatened to reignite his stress. Drawing on his earlier experience, he applied the same principles of taking a walking break and approaching the situation calmly. It worked. Arbind realized that the skills he developed to manage stress at work had legs if he could make them more of a habit.

Incorporating Strategies for Relief

Stress can feel like an insurmountable obstacle. The small steps we take and can encourage others to take are vital to our well-being. As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s remember that taking care of our mental health is a necessity that requires daily practice. Sometimes we may need a nudge to prioritize our mental wellbeing, or ask for help, and there’s no shame in that.

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