Have you ever experienced a slow acceptance of the pressures around you, until everything is “just too much”? There is evidence that the pace and intensity of work has been increasing, with more employees multi-tasking to meet ever changing demands (Burke 2008). Unsurprisingly, this corresponds with more employees feeling weary and stressed.
Let’s explore ways to slow things down a notch:
Don’t procrastinate Instead of having an endless list of tasks to do;
select one that you really need to do today and clear away everything not needed for the task in hand
break it down into small manageable chunks
when you have achieved a chunk, take a 5 min break -
take time to be quiet
take time to stretch and move
take time to smile and “pass the time” with a colleague
There’s every chance you will find that:
The job didn’t take as long as you expected
You were more focused and ready for the next chunk after having a short break
You feel satisfied that you have worked well
You feel less tense than beforehand having accomplished what you set out to achieve
Review the remaining list after you have completed a task and choose 3 items to eliminate from your list that won’t really impact on your career or your life (other than to free up some time) without doing them at all. Remember, things don't have to be perfect. Sometimes “good enough” is just fine. Make self-care a priority
If it is not vital that you do something when asked, convincingly but politely say no to avoid being pulled in all directions.
When we make time for ourselves, we put our wellbeing first. This can feel selfish to start, but it is like the aeroplane analogy—we must put our own oxygen mask on before we can assist others.
Take your lunch break
Go home on time
Techniques to help you slow down:
Switch off the technology to reduce the constant stimulus that encourages you to be “switched on” all the time.
Visualize an image of something that conveys happiness, warmth, or peaceful feelings for you. By focusing on the image for even a minute, you can lower your pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure
Breathe deeply: - Sit in a chair with your shoulders, head, and neck supported against the back of the chair. - Breathe in through your nose. Let your belly fill with air. - Breathe out through your nose. - Place one hand on your belly. Place the other hand on your chest. - As you breathe in, feel your belly rise. As you breathe out, feel your belly lower. The hand on your belly should move more than the one that's on your chest. - Take three more full, deep breaths. Breathe into your belly as it rises and falls with your breath.
Massage your hands. This video gives a good demonstration.
Colour in a picture
Go for a walk outside
Play a board game with a colleague in your break
Listen to a piece of music that makes you want to sing or dance
The NHS has listed these 10 stress busters which you might also find helpful. Our sources and for more information: https://www.nhs.uk https://www.webmd.com Burke R (2009); Working to Live or Living to Work: Should Individuals and Organizations Care? Journal of Business Ethics (2009) 84:167–172
Download the PDF here to share with your teams
Free Health Promotion Resources: Be the first to receive Health Chatter information, and other content related to employee health and wellbeing by signing up to our Health Chatter emails.