Deadlines, and emails and meetings OH MY! No ifs, ands, or buts about it, stress in the workplace is real life and unavoidable! If you are looking to move up the ladder or run your own show, then understand that stress is part of the process. You’ll read many articles telling you to prioritize your workload, get everything done as soon as you can! Don’t procrastinate! And these are all very true, but the fact of the matter is, there will be times where you will do all of those things, be a wonderful worker and leader, yet still deal with stress, especially if your job is high pressure by nature.
I’m sure you have read many articles telling you how to handle stress…outside of work. But what do you do when you can’t wait until 5 pm or when you work for yourself? Handling stress in the moment, when you are still t work is just as important as what to do when you leave work. I work in an inner-city school where resources are limited, funding is limited and the staff is limited, but the students are plenty! Outside of that, I run my own company that is picking up speed, again, pressure. I’m going to share my strategies with you on what I do IN THE MOMENT to help relieve my stress so I can stay on my A game.
- Breathe! Breathe, breathe, breathe! I do this thing where, when I am talking with a colleague and the situation is tense for whatever reason, I have my palms and fingers touching each other while I am looking at them. To my colleague, it looks like extreme focus. Now while I am listening to what’s going on, I am also feeling the pulse in my fingers and breathing behind that. This helps keep me calm and focused so I can make the right decision or say the right thing. Tactics like this are great to consider when you can’t get away for a few moments.
- Speaking of getting away for a few moments, try to get away for a few moments! When things are become tense within the office, if you can, try to get somewhere quiet for five minutes. A bathroom, a stairwell, somewhere, try to clear your mind for a moment and resettle your spirit. When I can get away like this, I bring my phone with me and listen to a quick five-minute guided meditation or calming music. The truth is, when you work in a high-pressure business environment, we tell ourselves that this isn’t doable, but what are you really going to solve when you are stressed out and not thinking straight? Be smart and take a few minutes to get yourself together because once you blow up, or make a decision out of stress, you cannot take it back and that will indeed follow you!
- Check your emotions! High-pressure situations or a stressful environment will bring up all kinds of emotions. BREATHE AND CHECK THEM! I am not saying you need to become a robot, but nothing good comes from letting your emotions run you!
- Always, always take some kind of a lunch break! Yes, I get it, “bosses don’t take breaks” that is total BS. It may not be an hour, but not eating, not taking a few minutes away, is all a recipe for burnout and blow ups. Even more than not taking a break BOSSES DON’T LOSE IT IN FRONT OF PEOPLE! We have to stop thinking it’s selfish or lazy to take breaks, eat and maintain our mental health.
- Let Go! If your career is high pressure and the workplace is high pressure, honey, you know this! Let go and be flexible, at times, you might need to be a contortionist! When you truly understand this, it’s easier to go with the flow and maneuver yourself through situations easier. Then you really are the boss!
We can go on and on about managing stress in the moment, these are just a few examples. However, understand this, I LOVE the game! I LOVE the hustle! I LOVE maneuvering through these situations successfully, but I am able to do that because I manage my mental health very well and that is a priority. Your mental health matters, when you take care of that, you find yourself excelling in any area you choose.