(3 minute read)
We love blogs. They’re not just a great way to share information with the wider world, but they can also help readers get a flavour of what a company is like – what their values are, who they are and why they do what they do. Because of this, as well as our blogs on Gradino and what we do, we’re also going to publish some pieces on matters close to our hearts.
International Stress Awareness Week ran from Monday 5th November 2018. With technology becoming more and more available to us, our working days tend to get longer and longer. We ping emails out all day, mobile phones make it easier for us to schedule calls after work and the temptation to just do a little bit more on our projects is always there.
The first thing is to identify whether there is anything in particular causing your stress: is it a particular project? Is it the thought of an upcoming event? Is it that you’ve taken too much on? Once you’ve identified what it is, you can break it down into chunks and look at taking smaller steps to tackle it.
We all deal with stress in different ways, but here are some of the things we have found that help us to relax and unwind.
Set specific working hours and stick to them.
We work on projects, that usually have a deadline. Often the belief is that we should be channelling all of our time and effort into that project to make sure it’s the very best it can be. We now set times for each project: some do have extended hours, but there is always a cut-off time which we are not allowed to work beyond.
When we asked around, there was a 50-50 split between people who enjoy running and those who don’t, however, there was a huge range of other activities which those of us at Gradino swimming, hiking, climbing, cycling, walking, mountain climbing and yoga were all mentioned as activities. It’s so important to find exercise that you enjoy and can do regularly to release those endorphins and boost your mood.
Connect with people.
Sometimes it can be easy to shut ourselves off when we’re working on projects and forget to socialise. Making time to meet up with friends or give a family member a call can sometimes be all we need to lift our mood.
Look at the tasks you have to complete and work out which of those are high priorities and which are low. Aim to complete your higher priority tasks when you’re more alert and leave the smaller jobs for when you know your productivity may not be as high. One option is to keep a notebook with you with four categories on it: must do today, should do today, will do by the end of the week, and longer term plans. This helps prioritise as you go along.
Get into good sleeping habits.
Healthy eating, exercising and sleeping well are all equally important. We’ve had to learn the art of limiting screen time before sleep. Utilising night mode on your phone limits the blue light that can alter your sleeping pattern. It’s also a good idea to get into a night time routine that works for you. Maybe try 10 minutes of stretching or yoga, or perhaps reading a chapter of a book.
Learn to say no.
This is perhaps the most important tool for managing stress. It’s so easy to to keep piling on work, thinking others will assume you should be doing it, or believing that it looks as though you aren’t doing your work properly. These negative thoughts can be very dangerous for your health. If you aren’t completing your work during your set hours, then you either need to work out what would have to change so you can fit them into your working day, or admit that you have taken on too much at work.
At the end of the day, you need you to be able to give your best at work for the hours you are paid to do. Outside of those hours, your time should be your own. Having a healthy work-life balance is one of the best things you can do for your employer, your work and for yourself.