How to take advantage of breaks and relieve stress at work

How to take advantage of breaks and relieve stress at work

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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A little bit of stress in your life is probably good for productivity. However, it is all too common for harmful stress to occur, especially for working men and women.

Stress is generally not considered harmful over a few days or weeks. But when it continues over a period of months or years it could be harmful in several ways. According to health and wellness writer Jim Sinclier, stress can affect us physically, mentally or emotionally. Unmanaged stress has the power to change our thinking habits and physical wellbeing and can leave us feeling fearful, angry or depressed.


But cutting down on stress can be easier than you think. The following list offers three good ways to relieve stress in the workplace and prevent harmful stress from taking over your life.

1. Take advantage of your lunch hour.

Your lunch hour provides a much-needed break from your desk. Working during lunch won't help you get more work done because you won't be as focused in the afternoon. Your break gives you a chance to regroup and be more productive when you return to your work.

Take the time to enjoy your food, take in new scenery and maybe treat yourself to a meal out once in a while. By taking advantage of your lunch break, you might also see some added health benefits. If you are skipping lunch altogther, you risk overeating later in the day and not having the energy to do your best work. If you eat at your desk, you aren't paying attention to what you are putting in your mouth and, again, risk overeating or eating too many snack foods that won't stick with you throughout the day.

2. Socialize with your co-workers.

Positive relationships at work are important on many levels, from encouraging teamwork to increasing one's chances of getting a promotion to simply making the workday more pleasant. Talking with your co-workers when you have a few minutes about work will help you realize you aren't alone in feeling stressed or overwhelmed at work. The sense of being part of a team and having people to go to for help will decrease your stress level.

3. Remind yourself why you're there.

Reader's Digest suggests six ways to de-stress at work, including reminding yourself why you're working in the first place. For most of us, you're working to earn a living for yourself or your family, and taking care of that obligation is one of your most important duties. You should also remember that while work takes up much of your time, ir is not (or shouldn't be) the only thing in your life. Keeping a family photo, a favorite motivational passage or something to remind you of your next vacation on your desk will aleviate stress and give you a much needed boost of motivation. Remember to appreciate and spend time with family and friends when you get home to keep your work- life balance healthy.

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Kelsey Hansen


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