Stress can be a killer.  We all realize that.  We also realize that some stress in our lives is absolutely essential.  The workaday world can swallow you up sometimes.  Our day to day lives at work are almost consumed by a culture of doing.  Most managers are consumed with deadlines, meetings, metrics and profit. This isn’t all bad but can overwhelm the working staff.

How can you take the edge off at work and diffuse the stress monster?  Take a look at some of these tips and see how you can apply them.

Bring Snacks

My go-to snacks: ready-made protein drinks, protein bars (find some that you actually enjoy), seasonal fruit, beef jerky with a side of cheese and almonds.   Other people enjoy other kinds of nonperishable snacks (dried fruit, juice boxes, or pretzels).  

Give Yourself Some Credit

Create a “to-do” list of things you want to accomplish either tomorrow or this week, this month…decide the time frame that works for you.  Prioritize the list in a manner that makes sense for you.  As you finish each one, pat yourself on the back for completing some task or achieving an accomplishment.  That will “rev up your momentum” for taking on the next one. 

Tame Your Email

Think about the source of some of these emails.  Are any of them automated?  If they are, can you conceivably get away with unsubscribing from them?   I have a friend that always complains that no one acknowledges receiving his emails.  Guess what?  Most folks don’t have time to!  If it’s your boss that’s a different story but for the most part you’re better off just moving on.  The alternative is to just reply with “received” as the total message.   Another thing if you find yourself ping ponging back and forth on a topic, maybe it’s time to pick up the phone.

Get a Head Start (or just on time)

Leave home 30 minutes earlier than normal. Studies find that the less rushed you feel in the morning, the less stressed you'll be for the rest of the day.  What I find works best for me is to set things up the night before so that all I have to really worry about is waking up on time!

Stretch your legs

Stand up, stretch in place or if your can, take a walk.  This is especially important if you have a sedentary job. Your back (among other areas will thank you). Sitting hunched over a desk for hours can cause serious aches, pains and muscle tension, and this takes a serious toll on your productivity and your health. Avoid staying in one position for hours. Do some simple stretches at your desk, and stand up and move around every hour to keep your body and mind energized.

Get Away From your Desk — and Eat Lunch

Have you ever worked around folks who never seemed to leave their desk? Sure you have.  Me too.  Unless it’s raining, I always make it a point to get outside during lunchtime.  If no other reason than to just breathe some fresh air. And don't even think about skipping lunch that is bad news on a whole different level.

Make use of a “Perspective Reminder”

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own problems that they seem way more important than they really are.  Then, we receive a reminder of someone who is battling issues that dwarf ours.  That can help put everything back in perspective.  I promise you, after taking a “big picture” perspective, things don’t appear so bad.

Reasons make the difference

What is really important to you?  Think about your personal life: your spouse or significant other, your children, international travel, a new car.  Recall the times in your life when you were having the most fun.  It’s almost like taking a mini-vacation and it helps us remember why we even work in the first place.   

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