Health and the Workplace (cont.)

Tip 2: Reduce job stress by taking care of yourself

Comment on this

When stress at work interferes with your ability to perform in your job, manage your personal life, or adversely impacts your health, it's time to take action. Start by paying attention to your physical and emotional health. When your own needs are taken care of, you're stronger and more resilient to stress. The better you feel, the better equipped you'll be to manage work stress without becoming overwhelmed.

Taking care of yourself doesn't require a total lifestyle overhaul. Even small things can lift your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel like you're back in the driver's seat. Take things one step at a time, and as you make more positive lifestyle choices, you'll soon notice a reduction in your stress levels, both at home and at work.

Get moving

Regular exercise is a powerful stress reliever - even though it may be the last thing you feel like doing. Aerobic exercise - activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat - is a hugely effective way to lift your mood, increase energy, sharpen focus, and relax both the mind and body. For maximum stress relief, try to get at least 30 minutes of heart-pounding activity on most days. If it's easier to fit into your schedule, break up the activity into two or three shorter segments.

Make food choices that keep you going

Low blood sugar can make you feel anxious and irritable, while eating too much can make you lethargic. Healthy eating can help you get through stressful work days. By eating small but frequent meals, you can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar, keep your energy up, stay focused, and avoid mood swings.

Drink alcohol in moderation and avoid nicotine

Alcohol temporarily reduces anxiety and worry, but too much can cause anxiety as it wears off. Drinking to relieve job stress may also eventually lead to alcohol abuse and dependence. Similarly, smoking when you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed may seem calming, but nicotine is a powerful stimulant – leading to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety.

Get enough sleep

Not only can stress and worry can cause insomnia, but a lack of sleep can leave you vulnerable to even more stress. When you're well-rested, it's much easier to keep your emotional balance, a key factor in coping with job and workplace stress. Try to improve the quality of your sleep by keeping a sleep schedule and aiming for 8 hours a night.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/31/2013

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Job Stress - Coping Question: How do you cope with job stress?
Job Stress - Warning Signs Question: What warning signs or symptoms have you experienced with job stress?
Job Stress - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with job stress.
Job Stress - Taking Care of Yourself Question: What things do you do on a daily basis to take care of yourself to reduce job stress?
Job Stress - Bad Habits Question: Please describe how you have broken bad habits to reduce job stress.
Job Stress - Management Question: As a manger, what steps have you taken to decrease job stress for your employees?