Most of us like our jobs (or at least something about our jobs 🙂 ), but there will inevitably be some degree of discord or discontent during any given workday. Since stress in the workplace is a major factor in our overall health, we wanted to cover some proven, effective strategies to deal with stress in the workplace.

The following is a list of suggestions for coping with stress at work. Select a few at a time and try them for 3-5 days. Ultimately, you will pick what is best for you, so try them all on for size!

  1. Start the day with breakfast. Try having smoothie with protein powder, frozen fruit/spinach, nut butter and your liquid of choice.
  2. Avoid drinking coffee all day. Try juice, herbal or decaffeinated Earl Grey tea, or warm water with freshly grated ginger and lemon.
  3. Find some time during the day to meditate. Twenty to thirty minutes twice a day is optimal, but 5-10 minutes is a good start!
  4. Leave for work 10 minutes early to avoid the stress of the early morning rush.
  5. Try to always take a lunch break and relax, even if brief. Walk outside, meditate in your car, or enjoy a peaceful lunch with a friend or alone.
  6. Go for a 15 minute walk during a break, at lunch or after work (outside if possible). Take a co-worker, friend, or family member with you or enjoy the peace alone.
  7. Become aware of your breathing, as it affects and reflects your stress level. Use the phone ringing as a cue to take a deep, cleansing breath, and/or practice deep breathing for a couple minutes a few times a day.
  8. Get up and move every hour. Use this time as an opportunity to walk over and communicate in person with a co-worker instead of by phone or e-mail, or get a drink of water.
  9. Become aware of your body. Are you holding your tension in your neck, back, shoulders? Is your jaw clenched, your face tight? If so, try a few gentle stretches at your desk.
  10. Give your eyes a break. With your palms facing your eyes, gently place them over the eyes blocking out all light. Hold for two to three minutes. If you still see light with the palms over the eyes, repeat for a few more minutes.
  11. When you are reading, blink several times each line. It will seem awkward at first (FYI – children do this naturally).
  12. Use humor to communicate. Put your informal messages on something humorous like a cartoon.
  13. Make your office a pleasant, relaxing environment. Put up pictures of places and people you enjoy, add a plant or two, post your favorite comics, put up some prints – make your office YOUR office.
  14. Try to avoid people who are “negaholics”.
  15. Give yourself praise.
  16. Use affirmations throughout your day.
  17. Take the long way home and enjoy the scenery.
  18. Try some of these exercises on a daily basis

Avoiding a meltdown at work can be a fun and enjoyable process. Give these suggestions a try and see if you don’t start enjoying your job just a little bit more!