It’s a hectic week at work. Tons of deadlines are approaching and your boss is breathing down your neck. When you’re stressed like this, self-care is one of the first things that gets neglected. As we force ourselves to do our daily routines, chores, and essential tasks, we may forget to take care of ourselves.
Whether it’s forgetting to eat a meal, or neglecting your workouts, or working long hours, a lack of self-care can lead to more issues down the road. For instance, did you know that stress can lead to brain fog? I can’t imagine that would be great for productivity!
It can also cause unsightly acne, weight gain, mood swings, and more. While these aren’t directly related to your job, they will inevitably impact your overall well-being. This will, in turn, impact all areas of your life.
When things get stressful, it’s best to remember to put yourself first, then you can take care of those around you, including coworkers and clients.
To help you mitigate some of the stress (and therefore the symptoms associated), we’ll share some tips for managing stress at work.
Tip 1: Eat Consistent Meals
Did you know that the stress hormone, cortisol, can increase stomach acid, which can ruin our appetite and even cause ulcers! For this reason, stress can impact our eating schedule. Some people start eating more frequently, binging on high-calorie comfort foods. Some, on the other side of things, find food repulsive. Both situations are not optimal for staying productive and healthy.
A full belly ensures that you are focused and driven—just make sure you’re not too full which can make you sluggish and tired.
If you’re having trouble keeping regular meals because of stress, stick to an eating schedule and keep a food journal to track what you eat and how much. Make sure your fridge and pantry are filled with high-protein foods and healthy munchies so that when you do eat, you put good calories and balanced nutrients into your body.
Tip 2: Drink Plenty of Water
Did you know that some people forget to drink water when they are dehydrated? Studies show that even half a liter of dehydration can increase cortisol levels. When you’re stressed out, your body loses water as your breathing and heart rate both speed up.
This can mean you end up very stressed and dehydrated, and it becomes a vicious cycle. Drinking good amounts of water keeps cortisol levels in check and helps your body cope with anxiety better. What is the right amount? About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men And 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.
Yes, we know that’s the last thing on your mind when you are typing away to meet that deadline, but it’s super important!
To make sure you keep water top of mind, keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink sips of it throughout the day. If you don’t feel like drinking regular water, fresh juices, lemonade, and coconut milk are potent and healthy drinks to stay hydrated.
Tip 3: Exercise Regularly
When we’re stressed, this is something that’s often forgotten, but exercise is a sure-shot way to elevate the mood. Exercise improves blood flow to our skin and accelerates our body’s healing power. It also reduces stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and stimulates the release of endorphins, the calm and satisfied hormones.
Exercise isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve been out of the workout game for a while. Remember to start slow, and build on your abilities a little at a time. Don’t worry about running a mile right off the bat, and don’t feel like you need to lift 1000 pounds at the gym either. Definitely be careful to avoid injury, which can put you back to square one.
If you’re so stressed out that it’s making it difficult for you to get an exercise routine started, try partnering up with a friend to go out for a brisk walk or run. Boot camps or group activities are also great ways to get and stay motivated.
Another really good one is making sure your sleep schedule is on point. Nothing can throw off your productivity like a messed-up sleep schedule. In fact, 43% of people can’t sleep because of stress. That’s such a high number!
Remember to turn off your electronics before bed. Try sipping some chamomile tea and listening to calming music or take a hot bath. If you still can’t sleep, try taking some melatonin, a natural supplement for sleep. And if you still can’t, you may want to talk to your doctor about getting on some sort of sleep aid temporarily.
And, my personal favorite includes keeping the company of a furry friend. Dogs decrease your levels of cortisol and lower your blood pressure. If you work from home, consider getting a dog! If you work in an office, ask if you can bring your furry friend to work.
These are just a few of the tips covered in the infographic below. You’ll want to try all of them and see which works best for you. Whatever form self-care takes for you, it’s important that it feels meaningful and makes you feel refreshed and motivated. Always make sure you’re engaging in positive self-talk. A good rule of thumb there is if you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself!
To ensure you are performing your best in all aspects of life, you have to take care of yourself first. This means a consistent self-care routine and taking care of your body. Follow all of the tips below and you’ll be well on your way to the most productive days of your life. You’ll be happy on the outside AND the inside which is so, so important, and your light and positive mood will radiate to those around you!
Infographic by: thedermreview