We all live busy lives. Whether you have two jobs, two kids or two too many emails to check, we all are stretched a little thin these days. On top of our busy lives, many of us sit at a desk most of the day. This is not what our bodies are designed to do. We are made to stand up and walk. We are designed to be outside. No matter how sophisticated we might think we have become, we are still animals. Being inside without walking and talking creates a lot of stress for our bodies.
This is in addition to the normal stresses our work life brings us. Stress may be a natural part of every day, but too much of it can be very detrimental to our health and to the health of our business. Dealing with stress is crucial to having a good life and being successful in everything we do. Here are few unique ways and a couple of not so unique ways to combat stress in your daily life.
Take Time Away From Email
Email is a necessary evil everyone must use. Taking time away from it each day is essential to dealing with stress. That time away allows you time to be in the moment. In many cases everyone needs to take some time each day to focus on one task only. A great time to step away from email is right before or after lunch. That gives you the opportunity for your mind to not be distracted by email for more then an hour each day. Regardless of when you do it, taking some time away from email
Now this may not be the most creative approach to combating stress, but it works. According to data from the American Heart Association, walking 10,000 steps a day can lead to a 90% reduction in the incidence of heart attacks. Taking time out of your day to walk is a great way to stay healthy and reduce stress. Even a small amount of walking can help. On top of the heart health benefits, walking gives your mind time to wander. With how frequently we are plugged in, this can be the best stress reliever of all. Walking can get your heart rate elevated just enough to keep you feeling energized throughout the rest of the day. You may be able to skip that afternoon coffee that keeps you awake later that night.
Keep Healthy Snacks At Your desk
This is another thing we can do to reduce stress that sounds obvious, but far too many of us fail to do it. Even if you work somewhere with a vending machine it is always a better idea to bring snacks from home and purchase those snacks on a full stomach. Studies have shown that grocery shopping when we are hungry tends to encourage us to buy less healthy groceries. This is especially important if you work at a desk job. Desk jobs may contribute to weight gain and obesity because of their sedentary nature. eating healthy is essential to preventing weight gain.
Snacks are an integral part of a healthy diet; they help keep hunger at bay between meals. Keeping healthy snacks at your desk is a great way to keep off those extra pounds. Some examples of snacks that are easily stored in your desk include: Fruit (Apples, Bananas, Raspberries and Blueberries), Granola, Nuts, Oatmeal, Tuna, Crackers, Vegetables (Celery and Carrots), Protein Shakes and Beef Jerky.
Manage Risk & Conflicts Properly
Now this one may seem a bit out there, but most of our stress stems from risk. Risk is inevitable in our lives. How we manage the risk is what determines how much that risk turns in to stress. Now, if you are a business owner or are the manager of your business you probably understand this all to well. You probably realize that there are risks we face that are avoidable and some we can do nothing about. Have excellent guidance from a board of directors or mentors is essential to anticipating risks and managing them properly. In most businesses a thorough and well executed safety plan can help manage your risk. The plan does not have to be extensive or time-consuming, but a well-thought regularly executed safety plan can mitigate a lot of risks that businesses face. Having a strong relationship with your insurance agent can also go a long way towards mitigating risk. Many business owners know they have insurance, but are not sure what exactly is and is not covered. Periodically reviewing your coverages and risks can help you deal with the stresses of risk.
Drink Coffee or Tea
I know it sounds counterintuitive to drink caffeine to destress, but both coffee and tea have been shown to be very good for your health. First, coffee and tea are two extremely healthy alternatives to sugary drinks that dominate the diets of Americans. They can increase alertness and increase attentions spans. Both drinks include caffeine, which can boost energy levels. Just remember not to overdo it. Go with a decaffeinated option some of the time, especially in the afternoon.
Coffee includes essential nutrients Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Potassium and Niacin. It can lower you risk of type II Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Liver Disease, Heart Disease and some types of Cancer. Drinking Tea regularly contributes to lower cholesterol and cortisol levels, a reduced risk of stroke and dementia and it is an anti-inflammatory which can help with Arthritis. Tea includes Vitamin C & Carotene, natural antioxidants like Flavonoids and Poly-phenols and the amino acid Theanine. Both Coffee and Tea are very low in sodium and unless added contain no sugar.
Talk To Someone
Many people have jobs that prevent them from interacting with other people. Some people have jobs that require them to talk constantly. No matter what extreme your profession takes you to, being aware of the need for human interaction can eliminate a lot of stress people take on.
Some jobs just require near silence to concentrate. Accounting or computer programming might require a certain amount of concentration where silence is crucial. Other professions require people to talk constantly. Take a call center for example. It is pretty hard to answer the phone without talking almost constantly. That amount of talking is not normal as well.
Talking to other humans is what we are designed to do. No matter what your work entails it is always best for your mind and body to speak with another human being periodically. It is also beneficial to run ideas by others in your organization. In most cases two minds are better than one. Talking has been shown to prevent depression, anxiety, eating disorders and some types of phobias or addictions.