Did you know there’s such a thing as good stress? We’re talking about the kind of stress that pops up when you have a big meeting or presentation at work. That kind of timely stress can actually be motivating and help you perform at your best. It’s when stress becomes an everyday occurrence — that nagging, chronic type — that it’s cause for concern. And we’re concerned. Here’s why: More than eight in ten employed Americans are stressed out by at least one thing about their jobs, most notably increasing workloads. That’s according to the latest Stress in America™ survey conducted annually by the American Psychological Association. When work leads to stress, it also leads to a lower quality of life — no time to unwind, connect with family and friends, enjoy hobbies, and generally lead a more balanced life. What’s more, too much chronic stress can damage your health and your relationships.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to do something to manage your stress and stay healthy on (and off!) the job. There are several strategies you can use to bring your levels down. For example, you might think that every minute counts when you’re working, but taking short breaks can actually help you stay focused and productive. Think of them as mini rewards for completing one job before moving on to the next. You might want to use those breaks to relax with some chair yoga; calm your mind with meditation; or get outside for a walk during lunch and return to your desk energized! There are many ways for you to manage your stress and feel better, both at work and when you get home.
And don’t forget to give yourself an extended break every once and a while. A whopping 51 percent of U.S. employees who have paid time off use only half of it! Research shows that employees who use up more of their vacation days ultimately get better performance reviews. Sounds like a win-win to us!