2021 started off with the promise of moving forward – there had to be an improvement on the previous year, right? The pandemic has been life-changing for everyone, changing the way we work and see our friends and families, while also impacting other aspects of our lives.
But as 2021 drew to an end, there was heightened anxiety around a new variant, and it’s no surprise that people are feeling that we’re heading right back to square one. While the situation can feel stressful and hopeless, vaccination programs and improved immunity are beginning to pay off in the fight against COVID-19, leading to some hope that this year of 2022 will be very different from the previous two years.
Work is one of the most affected areas for individuals. Having to work from home has taken its toll, and now more than ever, people are really feeling the need for a break. Being able to manage your stress levels at work can help boost your resilience, improving your mental health and focus so that you can make it through the day and come out smiling at the end of it.
Learn more about how to reduce stress at work this year to get it off to a great start.
A survey, Stress in America: January 2021 Stress Snapshot, conducted for the APA by The Harris Poll, found that the global pandemic has caused a collective trauma, with people experiencing higher levels of stress since the beginning of the pandemic. People’s resolve to simply carry on was beginning to wane, and even with the hope that vaccines bring, the coronavirus has continued to linger and impact our lives.
The workplace has changed dramatically over the last two years. Working from home has become more widespread, bringing with it different benefits and challenges. While it’s great to have the flexibility and the chance to find the right work/life balance, many people feel more pressure when working from home, as well as potentially working longer hours than they normally would due to reduced commuting time.
Even those returning to the workplace are finding the transition difficult, with concerns around virus exposure and the threat of the virus still very much alive.
Workers in the US are amongst the most stressed in the world, so what can be done to change things?
There are a lot of things you can do to help reduce your stress at work, helping you take a different approach this year. Some techniques to try include:
Planning your day is a good way to help you manage your workload. Work out what’s achievable during your day and dedicate time to your different tasks. Having everything laid out in front of you can help you break down what you need to do, leaving you feeling less overwhelmed and more in control.
Breathwork can help you reduce stress. Even taking as little as 1-3 minutes can give you a chance to focus on your breathing, slow down your heart rate and find some calm. When you’re feeling stressed out, take a minute to breathe and see the difference it can make.
Office and background noise can add to your stress levels, so why not change the soundtrack? Listen to some relaxing sounds to help keep you calm and activate flow state. It could help you focus and help you feel more at ease.
Some physical distance from your desk will energize you and give your eyes a much-needed break. If you can, step outside and let the wonders of fresh air and sunlight do their job. You’ll feel much better when you return.
As difficult as it can be, try to leave work at work. Switching off is important, especially if you’re working at home. End your day with a little breathwork to help your body relax and leave work behind - that separation is important and will set you up to be able to unwind after a long day.
Finding ways to reduce stress at work will make a big difference to your health and wellbeing. Practice self-care and give breathing.ai a try to help you find your balance and reduce your stress levels at work.