With 2017 winding down and the new year rapidly approaching, employees everywhere are rushing to finish projects and meet end-of-the-year deadlines. On top of this, the holidays are approaching which means fewer days in the office to get work done. As a result, it is common to become stressed both in and out of the office. What is supposed to be a time full of cheer and merriment becomes one of high stress which has a negative effect on our productivity and quality of work.

As is the case this time of year with the weather changes and it getting dark shortly after leaving the office, it is easy to feel like you have fallen into a funk. In order to break out of it and maintain your productivity (and sanity), managing stress is of utmost importance. By learning how to manage your stress at work, the rest of your life will follow suit. Without proper management, stress can cause sleep issues and make it difficult to concentrate among various other physical effects. According to the APA 2014 Stress Report, the most common reported symptoms of stress were: fatigue, lack of interest or motivation, nervousness or anxiousness, feeling angry or irritable and being sad or depressed.

Things that cause stress are referred to as “stressors,” and they can vary from person to person. Some of the most common workplace stressors include: challenges with a supervisor, tight deadlines, impending layoffs, etc. Luckily, our friends over at TopResume came up with 12 tips for managing workplace stress to help you regroup and destress. I will highlight three of the tips that I believe are great starting points for managing your stress.

Perfect Your Time Management Skills

Everyone has the same amount of time each day – 24 hours. However, depending on how you spend 86,400 seconds each day is up to you. By improving your time management skills, you can have a more productive day than you ever thought possible. While everyone is guilty of procrastinating at one time or another, managing your time better will drastically decrease stress. A common time management technique is creating to-do lists and crossing off each item once completed. These lists provide a visual representation of all that you need to get done, and with crossing tasks off you have a sense of accomplishment.

Take Time To Reset

Taking time away from the office is key in terms of managing stress. In today’s society we are constantly connected via smart phones, tablets and laptops, but every once in a while, take a few hours to “unplug” and disconnect from technology. Companies provide vacation days for their employees for a reason – take them. While it is common for people to immerse themselves in their work and become a “workaholic,” it is likely that you will become burnt out as a result of stress. So, book a vacation (or a “staycation”) and set that out of office email. Deal with your inbox when you get back to work.

Give Your Body The Fuel It Needs

When you’re stressed, you probably aren’t too focused on what you’re eating as long as you eat. You might feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day (see above) and just grab something quick, which is often unhealthy. However, by making a conscious effort to eat healthy with fruits, vegetables, fats and clean protein (what your body needs) you will actually feel less stressed. Don’t just take my word for it, Kathie Swift the Food as Medicine Education Director for The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, sites the connection between the gut and mind at relieving stress. In layman’s terms, the better you eat, the better (and less stress) you will feel.

Wrap Up

Stress in the workplace is almost guaranteed to happen. Without experiencing a little difficulty at work, you would likely be bored and try to find another opportunity that excites and challenges you a bit more. However, as is true with a lot of things in life, moderation is key. By managing your stress at work and in your everyday life, you will lead a healthier life. If you follow the 12 tips for managing workplace stress you may find that your productivity has increased and your stress outside of work has also decreased.

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