Your inbox is overflowing, two of your co-workers are spreading unfounded gossip about your relationship with your supervisor, and your printer absolutely refuses to print the report you need for the meeting you have in five minutes. It's a classic bad hair day in the making -- and not an uncommon scenario in the life of a working woman. While there's little you can do to remedy most sources of stress on the job, you can work to change your response to it and conquer even the most insidious workplace stress.
Leaving the office with what feels like an entire day's work tucked away in your briefcase is never a good feeling. Addressing issues that affect your productivity can help to ease stress. One solution is to keep a time log detailing your activities during the day. If you notice you're spending more time helping your co-workers troubleshoot their word processing programs than you are working on your projects, you can take steps to remedy the situation and take back your productivity.
You've heard it before, but exercise really is an effective stress-buster. What's more, you don't have to go to the gym and work up a sweat to reap the benefits. Try watching a 10-minute ab workout DVD on your computer or looking for "10 minute exercise videos" in your favorite search engine. A few ballet stretches or a walk around the block during your break, instead of heading for the vending machine, not only reduce stress, but help to prevent weight gain, which is also aggravated by stress.
When you've had your soda stolen from the office refrigerator for the second time in a week, it can certainly increase your stress levels. To reduce on-the-job stress from irritating co-workers, step back and look at the situation as though you were watching a sitcom, instead of focusing on thirst and annoyance. This can provide stress-reducing perspective. Talk to a friend outside of work about the stressful situations you encounter at work, as well; it's likely that she'll have a refreshing take on the situation, and together, you may be able to brainstorm up a practical solution to the problem.
One of the easiest ways to reduce stress in the office may be to bring your dog to work, according to a 2012 study published in the "International Journal of Workplace Health Management." Researchers found that people who brought dogs to work had lower levels of stress at the end of the day than their pet-free colleagues. Don't worry if you don't have a dog, though. Research also shows that aquariums have similar stress-reducing properties.
- Regan's PR Daily: 12 Ways to Reduce Stress at Work
- Forbes: One Easy Way To Reduce Workplace Stress And Enhance Productivity
- MayoClinic.com: Tips for Coping With Stress at Work
- Anthrozoos -- A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals: Effects of Watching Aquariums on Elders' Stress
Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.