7 Ways To Make Your Workday Less Stressful

Workdays can be incredibly stressful with the amount of tasks we have to get through in a day. These 7 tips will help you to have a hassle-free workday that is full of energy and mental clarity.

Work weeks can be a drag—there’s no denying that. There are days where we feel especially burdened: perhaps when we have multiple meetings in a day or have tight deadlines that can contribute to stress.

Stress can be incredibly destructive to the body, especially for women. It can cause feelings of exhaustion, low libido, breakouts, mental fogginess, weight gain and hair loss.

However, there are several steps you can take to make sure you reduce the amount of stress your body is exposed to. Follow these seven easy steps for a better and less stressful workday.

1. Make a to-do list

to do list

When you first wake up in the morning on a work day you know is going to be especially stressful, the first thing you’re most likely going to think is about how much you dread the thought of going in that day.

Sometimes, when assignments and duties pile up, they end up making us feel incredibly unproductive, and we would rather leave things alone than do any of them at all. Lumping all of your tasks together makes everything look monstrous and intimidating.

Whip out a small notebook or pad, and list what you have to do that day. Keeping a to-do list is great for two reasons. First, you’ll have everything laid out for you, and you don’t have to worry about missing something in the midst of all your running around.

Second, when you have everything listed, you can see what needs the most attention, which will help to break up your day. Try looking at things individually or as smaller tasks rather than as one enormous and impossible goal.

2. Skip the coffee

Need the energy? Try something other than coffee, like hot tea, hot water with lemon and honey or a bottle of (chilled!) yerba mate. Coffee can give you energy, but it can also make you crash—especially if your coffee is not complete without a lot of cream and sugar.

Warm drinks will give you the jolt you need without making you feel sluggish later in the day (which is when you’ll need your energy). Beat the morning blues with some great options like Trader Joe’s Pomegranate White Tea or Yogi Vanilla Spice Perfect Energy tea.

3. Start the morning with yoga

yoga at work

Yoga is absolutely wonderful for the body. Not only does it increase your flexibility and allow your body to detox, but it also helps with mental clarity and alertness as well as relaxation—you’ll also get a kick-ass body in the process!

Start your morning with a gentle morning flow yoga sequence, such as Energizing Morning Sequence via Yoga With Adrienne or Morning Yoga Workout (for more advanced yogis) with Boho Beautiful.

4. Have “relaxation breaks”

Throughout your workday, take a few breaks just to sit and breathe. Sometimes, we get so involved in our assignments and meetings, and everything else that is thrown at us, that we forget to do just that: breathe.

Take 10-minute walks, refill your water bottle and take a few sips, make a hot tea—whatever it is you would like to do with your windows of time, take the few moments you get to do them.

Breaks can be a great way for you simply to recharge during the workday. Let’s face it: it’s exhausting to have to deal with all of the work thrown at you, and for those of us who are in fields where we are surrounded by people, having to interact constantly throughout the day can be emotionally draining.

5. Bring snacks, and make sure to eat!

close up of a woman eating a salad

On especially busy workdays, we forget to eat lunch. We might have a meeting that runs into lunch and think that we’ll either eat at our desk or just skip it altogether in order to get some other work done that might be pressing. However, it is crucial that we take a break to eat in order to nourish our body and mind with nutrients that will make it easier for us to get through the day.

For snacks, stick to healthy options rather than soda, chips and candy, which can be incredibly tempting. On days that you feel you’re craving sugar and just need a little pick-me-up, try trail mix, chocolate-covered nuts or dried fruit or a can of (or piece of fresh) fruit. This will be a better option for natural sugar than a can of Coke or Sprite. Other great snacks are pretzels, fresh juice, smoothies and protein bars.

6. Tell yourself that you’re doing a good job

Whatever it is that you feel you’re not doing as well as you can, don’t worry about it. The fact of the matter is you are doing the best you can with what was given to you in that moment, and beating yourself up over an assignment, or a conversation, or whatever you think you might have screwed up on, is just going to make you feel upset and sluggish.

Talk yourself up—it’s important! Telling yourself that you are doing a good job will make you feel more optimistic and happy, and that will result in being more productive.

7. Challenge yourself to a game

stress at work

Remember those breaks we talked about earlier? Use the time to learn a new skill or play some brainteasers. If you’re in an environment that is very math- or science-oriented and you’re feeling a bit creative, Luminosity could be a fun treat for you. Luminosity is a site that allows you to play brain games, which do wonders for human cognition.

Another fun game to play is DuoLingo, which isn’t necessarily a game in the traditional sense, but it acts like a game in that you use matching and fill-in-the-blank type questions in order to learn a new language. DuoLingo is broken down into time sets. For examples, you can set your DuoLingo account to remind you that you have a short 10-minute window of game playing daily. You can set it for 20 minutes if you like, and if you get really into it, you can even go over (or play on the weekend). The site offers several languages, including popular choices like Spanish and French.

If you work in a team environment, incorporating creative games into the workplace is a great way to boost everyone’s brain power, such as Grab Bag Skits and Salt and Pepper. Games like this can spur productivity and team-building skills.

Remember: you’re allowed to feel sluggish during a workday. Many of us have other commitments outside of work (a family, a side or second job, school, etc.) and the stress can really add up. Take these seven easy steps to limit your exposure to stress in order to help you live a happier and healthier life!

About the author

Aisha Moktadier

Aisha Moktadier is a writer and proud graduate of the University of Miami. She is currently a staff writer for Vix and the creator of Soul Terrarium, a women's lifestyle blog. She is also a coffee fiend, avid book reader, and adventure-seeker.

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