From Distress To De-stress

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stress management

Stress at work driving you crazy? Palak Kapadia gives you tips on how to get the better of your stress, before it gets the better of you

Deadlines, appointments, meetings and targets are more than enough to get anyone’s head whirling. In the corporate world, office stress is a rule more than an exception. While a moderate level of stress is known to boost productivity, too much can be the opposite of helpful. Unnecessary stress can cloud your judgement and prevent you from seeing things clearly. From the most basic to the most creative, here are a few things you can do to manage stress at work.

THE BASIC

Do one thing at a time
No, you aren’t super human and no matter how hard you try you will never be able to do all those six tasks simultaneously. In fact, juggling multiple tasks at a time will lead to them all being half baked. Instead, do one thing at a time and focus on doing it well. You’ll get more stuff done that way.

Manage your time well
Prioritise your tasks. The most common mistake people make is trying to do everything by themselves. Analyse what you need to do on your own and what you can delegate. Breaking huge tasks down into a series of smaller tasks spread over a longer period of time is a sure shot way to cut down on stress.

Keep your to-do lists very short
Super long to-do lists end up leaving you overwhelmed and make you focus on what remains rather than what is done. Restrict your to-do list to three to five most important tasks that need to be accomplished in the day. It works really well.

THE BETTER

Grab some chocolate
Dark chocolate is known to contain flavonoids which help blood vessels relax and calm overall stress. So keep a bar of chocolate in your desk, it might just come handy the next time the stress monster strikes!

Maintain a stress diary
Keeping a stress diary for a few weeks is an excellent stress management tool as it can help you to keep track of the situations that trigger stress. “I maintained my stress diary very diligently. I would jot down the date, time and place of each stressful episode, what I was doing and with whom and how I felt at that point in time. I’d even rate them on a scale of 1-10. It helped me understand my stress and cope with it.” Says Shetal Kinjra, who worked in the client servicing department of All In Events.

Learn to say NO
Shreya Shetty, an accounting student who has done multiple internships, says, “Most of my stress had its roots in the fact that I could not turn people down. I’d agree to do whatever I was asked and ultimately end up with more on my plate than I could handle. I learnt in due course of time that a simple ‘I’d love to do it but I’m in the middle of something right now’ never hurt anyone. My stress levels have declined drastically ever since.”

THE BRILLIANT

Rub your Hoku
The skin on your palm that connects your pointer finger to your thumb, also known as your hoku, is an acupressure point related to upper body tension. The scientists at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have found that squeezing it can reduce stress up to 39%.

Listen to some calming music
Several people consider music to be the ultimate escape. There is no reason why it cannot be an escape from stress as well. Listening to some soothing music can not only induce a dip in your levels of stress, but also bring peace to your restless mind.

Pop some bubble wrap
“My internship came with a very heavy workload. When things got out of hand, there was one thing that would always make me feel better – bubble wrap! I mean seriously, if bubble wrap can’t make you feel better nothing can!” Exclaims Drishty Patel, a former intern at Imarticus Learning. And if you don’t have any bubble wrap at hand, check out www.virtual-bubblewrap.com to pop some virtually.

Take it easy
There are several ways of dealing with stress and each technique works differently for different people. Find something that works for you and stick to it, limiting your stress to healthy levels will ensure that you are happier and healthier in the long run. On a concluding note, find time out to dis-engage from work and re-engage with those to who matter. Don’t let those crazy work hours take a toll on your relationships. Schedule some time to be with your loved ones and just relax, talk and laugh! Keep that cell phone away and make sure that there are people in your life who give you enough happiness to counter all that office stress.

Restrict your to-do list to three to five most important tasks that need to be accomplished in the day.

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