Stress doesn’t always have to be negative. A short but substantial challenge can both frustrate and motivate you. But when you’re under constant, steady pressure, it can be difficult to stay energetic and engaged. A study from the Techniker Krankenkasse, a leading health insurance firm in Germany, states that in the workplace, this is often the case. Executives and top managers are often placed in demanding environments, with countless competitors, in a constant race against the clock.
The consequences? A decreased quality of life, deteriorating working capacities, and in extreme cases, heart disease and burnout. To prevent these executive ailments, and to return to a more relaxing working style, stress management is extremely important. Check out these ten helpful relaxation tips to beat stress in the workplace.
1. Be Brave Enough to Delegate
When faced with something menial, ask yourself: Is there really no one on your team who can handle this task? This will remain the case, if you never give your employees the opportunity to show that they can. Be brave enough to delegate certain projects. This way, your employees will be able to grow and learn how to successfully complete more important and complex assignments – and you’ll also learn to properly divide tasks with a healthy conscience.
2. Do You Need To Be “CC’d?”
Along with delegating, you also need to cultivate trust in your employees – this means you don’t always need to be CC’d in every correspondence with your clients! This takes care to eliminate excessive emails in your inbox, which also take up valuable time. Instead, speak to the project leader and ask them for quick status reports, or to inform you if they run into bigger problems.
3. Plan Exercise Into Your Day
Whenever the To-Do list grows too long, exercise usually becomes the last priority. But movement is extremely important to help combat stress hormones and get a handle on your work-life balance. Try booking appointments with a personal trainer – with a commitment in place, it’ll be more difficult, and expensive, to cancel your plans to go to the gym.
4. Mini-Work-Outs at the Office
Most senior executives spend the majority of their day in front of a computer. Shoulder, neck and jaw muscles are usually tense, which can lead to posture problems or headaches. Every two hours, focus on loosening up your tense muscles: roll your shoulders back and forth, straighten your back, and relax your jaw. 5-7 minutes should be enough to prevent or care for any cramps you may experience.
5. Reconsider Your Work Trips
When traveling for work, you encounter more stressful situations than in your normal daily routine – business trips are both exhausting and time-consuming. So ask yourself before planning your next trip: do I really need to travel for this?
Or would a Skype conference work just as well? Weigh the utility versus the effort for both options before deciding.
6. Your Lunch Break is a Break
Don’t sacrifice your break – defend this precious time, and eat in peace! Avoid reading sales reports while eating your salad. Don’t meet with colleagues at the cafe to save time. By multitasking, you’re not doing justice to the tasks you’re rushing through, or your colleagues – and especially not your food!
7. Don’t Take Your Stress Home With You
Leave your problems (and briefcase) at the office whenever possible. By the same token, using your private phone for work calls should be considered taboo. When you bring your work phone home on the weekend, don’t cast more than a single glance at the screen. For weekend trips, sport, or social events, your phone should stay at home.
8. Keep Your Work and Play Separate
It’s important to have a group of friends that have nothing to do with work. Only by socializing with people outside of your organization can you really shut out the stress from work. In case of a work emergency, this part of your social life will stay stable – very important in case of crisis.
9. Get Some Good Advice
It’s unavoidable – sometimes you’ll run into problems at work that disturb you, even after the work day ends. Don’t complain and gossip about it, but speak instead to someone you really trust.
In the best case, this would be someone who knows your industry and work atmosphere, but has no direct connection with your company. Or consider taking on the help of a professional career coach, someone who can truly give advice from a neutral place.
10. Prepare for Tomorrow
Employees who are well prepared for the day ahead are more relaxed in the workplace. Use the last half hour of your workday to plan for tomorrow. Write down the most important To-Do’s and get the necessary documents in order. This will make your morning more relaxed, and you’ll feel ready to take on the day.
Consider this: To be healthier at work, it’s not just about watching out for your personal well-being, but also your productivity and your motivation. Furthermore, it’s always important for executives to remain calm in crisis situations. So go ahead – start relaxing today!