6 Tactics to Combat Work Stress

This episode is brought to you by Squarespace. [Intro Music] Work stress. It’s a problem that most of us have, and
the things that are stressing us out are often out of our control. Like, buying a Himalayan salt lamp is probably
not going to change the fact that you’re running up against a deadline, or find someone
to cover your shift when you have a family emergency. But by stepping back and thinking carefully,
we can recognize the things that are within our control. So here are 6 work stress relief tactics to
help you take back the reins–even if it’s just inch by inch. #1: Breathe Chances are that some of these tactics won’t
apply to your particular situation, but taking slow, intentional breaths is something that
everyone can do. If focusing on your breath feels too
difficult on its own, try pairing it with a count to ten, or with naming 6 things in
the room that you can see, touch, hear, or smell. Run a finger up your pinky as you inhale,
and back down as you exhale. The goal is to calm the fight-or-flight response
that is super helpful when you’re being attacked by a grizzly bear, but less helpful
when facing your email inbox or giving a presentation. Recognizing this can help put you in a head-space
that is more suited for the tasks at hand. #2 Take a Quick Break If you have some time to spare away from your
workspace, try taking a quick break. If the weather is nice and you haven’t seen
the outdoors in a while, try taking a walk around the block. This can help you gain some space from your
thoughts in order to gain perspective. The restroom can also live up to its name
as a place to take a break. If you’ve been sweating or working in a
stuffy area all day, try washing your face with some cool water. When we reached out for suggestions, one person
even recommended taking this time to brush your teeth. If you’ve got time for a coffee break, try
sitting away from your workspace with your beverage for the amount of time it takes you
to drink a cup. #3 Make a List If you’ve got a lot on your plate and you
don’t know where to start, step 1 might be making a list! Even if you feel like there’s just one big
task, try breaking it down into actionable parts. Being able to cross something off a list helps give you a visualization of your progress. It also helps to be a storage space for your
thoughts. Instead of trying to remember all of the tasks
you have to accomplish in the future, you can write them down and choose which ones
to focus on. Sometimes that means completing tasks on your
list by priority. Other times, it might mean crossing out a
few easier things in order to work up to a more difficult one. If you’re just plain old stuck on a challenging
task, switching to a different project can sometimes help bump your brain into refocusing
on the task instead of ruminating on how stressful something feels. Time limits can also be an asset to your productivity. That can mean allotting yourself 30 minutes
for one task before diving into another. Or you can use the pomodoro method: alternating
between intervals of work and rest. Just be careful not to set yourself up for limits you can’t achieve, or you may actually cause yourself more stress. #4 Socialize When facing a problem, asking another person’s
opinion on it can often give you the key to solving it. Everyone has a slightly different way of viewing
the world, so keep your ears open for solutions you wouldn’t have thought of yourself. This can look like giving someone you trust
a call on the phone, or it can look like setting up a meeting with your supervisor. Your employers have already put time into
to hiring and training you, so it’s in their best interest to help get you the tools you
need to complete your job. Before meeting with your supervisor, give
some thought to your situation and come prepared with some specific points to discuss. You won’t always be able to make changes
this way, but by politely and professionally bringing your concerns to your supervisor,
they’ll at least have your concerns on their radar. If they’re a good supervisor, they’ll
do their best to help you out. If human interaction isn’t your thing, and
your workplace allows pets, take some time to lavish attention on an animal you have
their owner’s permission to interact with. It’s good for you, and them, so you’re
multitasking! #5 Exercise Exercise is clinically proven to reduce stress. But exercising doesn’t necessarily mean
building a hardcore workout into your work routine. For the majority of us, just walking around
the block or biking to work can make a huge difference. Or psych your co-workers out with a wall-sit
stare-down. If you’re looking for something a little
more challenging to give you a nice endorphin-kick to the old noggin’, try out a class like
yoga or join a sport to start out or finish your work day. If you’ve got extra time at lunch, try going
on a walk or a run Consider building small fitness goals into
your work week. Being able to accomplish something for yourself,
independent from your work can help remind you that you are more than what you do for
an income. Which brings us to our final tactic… #6 The Big Picture Remember that you are a multi-faceted human
being, and that your work at the job you do is only one facet. It may be an important facet, but putting
all of your self-worth-eggs in one career-basket isn’t setting yourself up to succeed. And it isn’t an accurate portrayal of the
complex organism that is you. When we reached out for stress-relief strategies,
one response we got was summarized with a Buddhist proverb: “If you have a problem that can be fixed,
then there is no use in worrying. If you have a problem that cannot be fixed,
then there is no use in worrying.” Even the most successful people you can think
of have made mistakes, or felt like they bit off more than they could chew. It’s part of being human. So take a step back from your zoomed-in position,
be kind to yourself, evaluate your options, and take incremental steps towards where you’d
like to be. Thanks so much for watching. If you have any work-stress-relief tactics,
or suggestions for future videos, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. This episode is brought to you by Squarespace,
which lets users create custom websites or online stores with its all-in-one platform. If you’re looking to make your next move
on a business idea or want to launch a creative project, check out Squarespace. With award-winning templates and 24/7 customer
support, you’ll have everything you need to create a website, build a portfolio, design
an online store, and more. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur,
musician, artist, or designer, make your next move by visiting Squarespace.com, and use
the code “ADULT” for 10% off your first order. Instead of trying to remember all of the tasks— Inst—
Pffff. [Dead Silence] …things sometimes feels. Agggghhhhh!!! [laughter] Okay. Just be careful not to set— Just be careful not to set yourself up for limits you cannot achieve. …or else you will diiiiieee. [laughter] … all out with the poop-ahhh.

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  1. The only answer to work related stress is to abolish the capitalist relation of product, wage labour and production for profit.
    If you get stressed out from work in a world with no natural predators, no food scarcity and no scarcity of essential living needs, there is something fundamentally wrong.
    This video is great to survive until we get there.

  2. See if you can move to a cube with sunlight.
    Also, some jobs are inherently stressful. First responders and emergency room staff need to routinely verify if the job is breaking them down without adequate rest.

  3. I want to become a trauma nurse, but I can't stand school now, so I don't think college would be something for me. What should I do?

  4. You gaze at the mountain, Children of Terra, you see its snow-capped peak and the clouds upon its slopes. You dream of reaching that pinnacle and drinking the cold waters. But who dreams of the road that ascends the mountain side? The road to the peak is hard and murderous. It has broken countless Children of Terra upon its rocks. Their splintered bones lie scattered upon it, paving the way to the mountain top. At every step you will hear the bones crumbling under foot, and maybe you shall hear the wind-blown voices of the dead – guiding you forward or leading you to your doom. Yes, my children, the way to the mountain is cruel and unforgiving. And of those who struggle their long lives, spending their energy and vigour in the climb, who then can taste the melt-water of the summit and say, 'Yes… yes it was worthwhile?'

  5. I'm a big believer in the Pomodoro Method–even though I didn't even know that it had a name! And a lot of times, YouTube is my reward: work a bit, watch a video, work a bit, watch a video, etc etc. so thanks for helping me fight my work stress! 🙂

  6. This is all well and good for white-collar workers, but what about blue-collar jobs like driving?

  7. It's amazing to me that some people don't use to-do lists — I have at least 6 different lists (different types and frequencies of tasks) all in priority order going at any one time to keep my life and my thoughts in some kind of order

  8. How about a series of videos on something that Mike & Emma never talked about, is about the scariest thing you can do, and will make you feel like an adult: becoming a parent. Some of these might be of more general interest. Picking health care professionals is always important, but could be vital in this case. Making a living space safe for babies is similar to making it safe for pets. Deciding when you're financially ready – hey, you asked me about financial topics to cover, here's one!. There are probably others as well.

  9. Yeah, but when you work in an office where there is a lot of politics and you work with a technical subject that no one else in your area works on: its stressful in a way that you feel like you have no resources, and you can trust no one to have your back. I try to look on the sunny side, but its just draining. -But this is why I have made the decision to look elsewhere.

  10. The only tip that's worked for me (since I work at a job where I literally cannot take a break except during my one scheduled break time per day, and some days I get no scheduled break) is "time chunking". That is, instead of thinking, "Ugh, I have 6 more hours until I go home," try thinking, "Oh, I only have three shifts left until I go home!" You'll know one shift equals two hours, but having three time units left feels a lot better than having six!

    That is, if you don't like your job, at least.

  11. one time a supervisor walked in on me in full thread the needle on the floor in my uniform. he just turned around and walked out.

  12. One of the things that can compound stress is the dehumanizing nature of the work environment of your standard office. If you have any kind of workspace at all, whether it's a whole office or just a small desk, have some kind of decoration on it. Even a decoration stuck on your work laptop can help. I've found that having something personal to focus on can help me destress a lot faster, especially if the decoration in question can remind me of fun memories in my life.

    Some workplaces that are stuck in the past may have a strict "no decorating" policy. Try to avoid these soul-sucking places if you can, but if you're stuck in one, then perhaps a bit of minor rebellion is in order. Go buy some office post-it-notes and a pen, and write out some funny quotes or draw some random pictures on the first several. Better still would be to get a friend or significant other to join in so they're more meaningful. Then, keep them in your pocket/purse at all times at work. When you're stressed, stick a post-it on something of yours and try and relax with it, removing said post-it once you're done. No evidence of rules broken, and the minor rush of being a "rebel" may help with your other destressing techniques. And since it's a post-it note, it's camouflaged with the rest of the office environment, so the chance of it being spotted before you're done is very low.

    Of course, if your place of work IS like the above, then I strongly suspect that more then half your work stress is coming from the workspace itself, so the best advice I can give is to find another job that gets you out of there as soon as possible. Until then, though, keep your chin up: there ARE places out there that aren't trying to slowly suffocate your soul, I promise!

  13. How to say no politely? Or maybe how to say no politely and not feeling guilty about it and doing something way more just to amend it all? Even when the person who needed help don't mind that you say no. And when it's OK to say no?

  14. Thanks for the video, though none of these combat my work stress. Could you make a video about calling authorities on a hazardous worksite, handling workplace discrimination, and what to do when legal authorities don't help?

  15. I know I'm not unbiased, but daaaang I loved this video. 😀 Thank you guys so much for sharing this info — I just started a new job and will be sure to use your tips. Keep up the wonderful work!

    – Mike

  16. Video suggestion: talking to customer support.
    Things like, how to clearly explain the problem, the steps taken and the expected result, the actual result, including screen shots if necessary, making sure you get a case number or employee ID in case it happens again.
    This could branch into a wider topic of how to be a good customer in general, realizing that working in retail and food service is hard enough without having people be jerks to you.

  17. On #3 Make a list, one thing I do when making a list is I will use bullets or another such marker instead of numbers. I do this because seeing the numbers causes my brain to lock into this ideas that they have to be done in that order or that while writing the list I have to write everything in order. By writing a bulleted list first I can then go through all those items and prioritize them. I then might rewrite the list in the order things need to be done and this time I can mark them with numbers.

  18. If you had time for a coffee break or a walk outside around the block then it wouldn't be a stressful situation and l probably wouldn't be at work or watching this tutorial…It's stressful because you CAN"T get away..

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