Make stress less of an issue for you in your work and life, by trying out one or more of these ideas - the list is not exhaustive! Seek out more and share!
So try these 11 random ideas out - and above all, have some fun!
You can get them at sports stores (use a squash or racquet ball) or there are even some specialist places that have them and call them 'stress balls'. Get yourself a ball to squeeze. Sometimes they are specially squishy and retain your imprint - even more fun! If you want a cheap alternative, how about a tennis ball with a hole in it!
Add sufficient time to get where you are going with 10 minutes to spare and be there 10 minutes before you are due - it also gives you time to get a feel for where you are going, the people there, the culture and even what's going on (which might be useful!)
Spend time with your colleagues outside work. Have some fun together. As long as it isn't forced, this is a great way to get relaxed and get your team spirit built!
Take your lunch out of work - in the park, or a quiet restaurant. That hour you take (and you do take an hour, don't you?) gets your mind relaxed and stretching your legs helps too. Personally I prefer down time on my own - I like my own space. Some folks like it with a colleague or a friend - it's up to you!
Take Your Holidays
Life really is too short, so always have a holiday or vacation to look forward to - on those really stressed days you can focus on that warm beach just waiting for you. Or even a long weekend out in the wilds. Somewhere in nature is great.
Get a Window
There's nothing better for breaking your focus for while than looking out of the window - so if you get the chance, get an office with a view. If not find a place to walk to with your coffee (decaff!) which is a little haven of peace.
Sticker Your Phone
By reminding yourself that it's a phone call, you will allow yourself to take a breath and relax as you speak - smile even. Just a little reminder that is out of the ordinary will do - try a gold star, stuck somewhere very visible!
When business involves taking difficult people decisions it can be really stressful, so try to remember it's not about you or them, it's about an objective business decision. Do it with respect, understanding and focus and it will be a lot less stressful.
Sometimes there are very frustrating moments when you truly could squeeze someone else's head in a vice (could try 1 above instead!). Try being forgiving and taking control of the 'being nice' and resolving it. You can't fix them - it is NOT within your control - but you can fix you and giving in a little is the control position you have - so give it a go!
Try background music either quietly by you or use the internet - there are loads of radio stations and even meditation websites you can use - even for a few minutes.
Want to really downshift your stress levels? Try a very challenging puzzle. Thinking about non-work issues deeply will take the pressure off and if you can't do the puzzle, you can always throw it at the wall - much better than your laptop!
Tricky this - the stress you get in the outside world is there too. Remember when you had the choice of a ham or cheese sandwich - now there are at least thirty or forty to choose from - stressful lunch decision-making! But chill, you have it in you to do it. All it takes is a little action and a little focus - and even maybe a tank of fish...:-)
? 2005 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com.
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