5 ways to calm yourself down when facing a stressful day at work


  • Family
  • Saturday, 28 Feb 2015

Calm yourself down at the office.

Asia is an increasingly stressful place to live and work in. Surveys last year saw 67% of Singaporeans and 70% of Malaysians report that they are seeing more stress-related illnesses at work.

Great Eastern Life has some great tips on how you can manage and reduce your stress levels with these five effective “de-stress” techniques.

#1. Step away

When tasks are piling up, take a short break now and again. Take just 10 minutes of quiet reflection time, savour a cup of coffee in the pantry or take a stroll around the office building.

It may sound counterintuitive, but psychologists argue that a short break will better help you de-stress and recharge than a long one. By stepping away for just a few minutes, you will be able to tackle the work you have to get done with renewed vigour.

After all, Albert Einstein is thought to have come up with the theory of relativity while riding his bicycle!

#2. Break it down

No, we’re not asking you to suddenly get up and perform a funky dance. Instead, view each of your projects as a series of smaller tasks. This will make the work look less daunting.

There are a few useful apps, ranging from free options such as Evernote, or paid time-management apps such as Things to help you do just that.

With these apps, you will be able to break down jobs into easily achievable, bite-sized chunks and manage your tasks across multiple devices.

Of course, nothing beats the good ol’ feeling of fervently crossing out an item on your to-do list!

#3. Prioritise tasks

Once you have your list of tasks, sort them in order of importance. Get the important and urgent matters out of the way first and you will gain a huge sense of achievement, as well as relief.

You might want to put a couple of unpleasant tasks upfront too, so that the rest of the day becomes more agreeable.

#4. Learn to say ‘no’

It’s never wise to schedule things back-to-back because meetings often overrun and tasks may take longer than estimated.

Hence, be brave enough to say “no”, and suggest alternative meeting times and deadlines. This way, you have breathing space to complete your work and won’t be stressed by the ticking clock.

Saying “no” doesn’t make you a slacker. In fact, both psychologists and business consultants argue that saying “no” shows you have both vision and opinion.

To ensure that you’re not perceived as merely putting up objections, you should clearly explain what you need, your challenges or the deadlines you face.

This will allow people to understand the rationale for your “no”, and give you time to eliminate distractions and formulate solutions to the problem.

#5. Don’t bring your work home

Your home should be a place where you can relax and recharge after a hard day’s work; it shouldn’t become an extension of the office, otherwise there’d be no escaping from work stress!

A lack of work-life balance may also create more stress in other areas, such as your family or social life. So it’s important that you set aside some time for your family every day.

The workplace can be a stressful environment, so it’s important to start work every day as calmly as possible.

Regular exercise is a great way of relieving stress and anxiety. Running is a great way to warm up and calm down – try some of your favourite running routes. Take time to recharge and you’ll be able to face the challenges of the working day.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, small steps lead to great things. Try to keep these techniques in mind and practise them when you can. You’ll soon be enjoying calmer days at work.

This April, Great Eastern Life will be the exclusive event partner with The Star in the FitForLife fair (previously known as The Star Health Fair).

The theme for this year’s fair is “Get Fit. Live Great!”, and it aims to inspire Malaysians to lead a healthy lifestyle and adopt a holistic approach that include physical and mental fitness, financial health and general happiness.

According to Great Eastern Life, this is a strategic partnership in line with the company’s Live Great Programme introduced in April 2012 as the first integrated health and wellness programme by an insurance company in the region, designed to assist its customers in achieving their health goals.

You can visit the Live Great Portal at livegreat.greateasternlife.com to get other healthy living tips, articles and recipes, use the available wellness tools to conduct simple health risk assessments, obtain information on Live Great events such as health and wellness talks, seminars and workshops, and Live Great partners’ promotions throughout the year.

In addition, The Live Great Guides, which are available on Great Eastern Life’s corporate website greateasternlife.com, contains useful information about managing weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

You can find out more about Great Eastern Life’s activities and events on its Facebook page. FitForLife 2015 will be held at Mid Valley Exhibition Centre, Halls 1-3, Apr 10-12. Admission is free. For details, call (03) 7967-1388 ext 1243/1475 or go to facebook.com/thestarhealthfair.

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