Stress, unfortunately, is an everyday occurrence for many of us. Learning adequate and easy stress management techniques is paramount, if we want to stay mentally and physically happy at work and home. We’ve all heard that exercise and eating well can help you manage stress, but for many, it helps to have other strategies in place too.
Stress management doesn’t have to be complicated – it’s often about implementing simple new habits into your existing daily routine. Here’s my top ten tips for easy stress management – and learning how to switch off, when needed.
#1: Learn to manage your time
Poor time management is one of the top causes of stress amongst CEOs, NEDs and Managing Directors. Adopt strategies that will work for you, when it comes to diary management, appointment setting and working practices. However, time management is also about knowing when it’s time to put down anything work-related and switch off for the day. Remember, if you don’t take charge of your time and where you spend it – you’ll inevitably find other people are more than willing to spend it for you. If you want some handy time management advice, check out this recent blog post on how to fix broken time management!
#2: Master your thoughts
Negative thoughts about yourself, your abilities and your actions, if left to run attended, can really screw up your life. However, worrying, surmising, second guessing and generally stressing about what others think and say about you, is another thought-based habit, one that we often tend to do, when we’re supposed to be switching off from work! And that needs to stop. Not only can it lead to a swift upturn in your own stress levels – it also prevents you from enjoying your down time at home.
#3: Drop the perfectionism
If a job’s worth doing well, it’s worth doing right, right? Yes and no. The problem is, this belief can also lead to untold stress and anxiety – especially if you don’t know a) what’s right and b) what constitutes done well! Many of us have an idea of what perfect looks like, and it isn’t always realistically achievable. Instead, look to do jobs to the best of your ability – and then move on. Otherwise you may find yourself never being happy with the end results and running behind deadlines, in your quest for perfection.
#4: Deal with what stresses you
We often know what it is, that stresses us out. The issue is we don’t do anything to solve it. Learn to deal with whatever it is that induces your stress, rather than putting up with it and soldiering on regardless – it’s one of the quickest and easiest stress management techniques out there.
#5: Focus on what you can control
Understand the difference between what is and isn’t within your control. We often worry about things that haven’t happened, may never happen, and aren’t even our things to worry about! Part of implementing an easy stress management regime is to learn what is, and isn’t, within your control – and then dropping the worry over anything you do not have any sway or control over.
#6: Accept that change is a given
Change is a part of life. The faster you accept that change is inevitable, the quicker you can drop the stress around change. Embrace it for what it really is – and opportunity to do, learn or believe in, something new. In fact, why not look to embrace it, by implementing your own self improvement strategy – and improve your management skills in the process?
#7: Focus on being positive
Complaining and negativity, at home and in the workplace, can lead to an increase in stress. If you want easy stress management techniques – drop both of these negative habits and focus on being happy and positive, instead.
#8: Learn to become a great communicator
Having great communication skills can save you from a lot of stress, whether you’re looking to communicate with your remote team, in-house staff or your partner and children. Not only does it mean you’re more likely to say what you mean and speak your mind, you’re less likely to hold things in and misinterpret what others are saying. Communication skills are not only useful for the office, they’re also essential for better relationships with those at home too.
#9: Have someone you can talk to
Whilst we’re talking about communication, it’s also essential that you have a trustworthy source to speak with. This gives you room to vent, but also someone to bounce ideas off and get help from, when needed.
#10: Find balance in your life
Having a work life and personal life is a given, for all of us. Often, stress is introduced when we’re not happy with the integration between the two. Find a balance that works for you and protect it, if you want to keep your stress levels down.
Stress can prove a major headache for your team too. It can lead to a drop in productivity, as well as being a major cause of misunderstandings within the workplace. If you’re looking for a way to cut stress within your team – start by working on your own stress levels, as they can be impacting on your team. Following the above advice will help you get started on this, you can then look to tackle it within your team.
If you’d like to explore additional stress management tips, here’s a great article from the Institute of Directors, with some Top tips for managing stress. Whilst Personnel Today lists 10 tips for managers to reduce organisational stress, giving you some simple tips to start dealing with the stress levels of your team.