Cocktails aren’t permitted at work, and chocolate simply isn’t helping any of us handle stress. But hey, it’s annual enrollment time and like all of you, we’re super busy. Changes keep coming in, new versions are being added and deadlines simply won’t budge. What’s a girl to do?
…Manage the chaos
Here are just a few strategies the Write On Target crew uses to stay calm, relieve stress and get through the day unscathed.
- Laugh it off. The best antidote to stress is a good belly laugh. It increases oxygen in the blood, decreases blood sugar and even burns up calories. I am NOT kidding! At Write On Target, we laugh a lot. It really is the best medicine for what ails you.
- Get on the ball. We each have large exercise balls that we use in exchange for our regular desk chairs once in a while. It’s a great way to stretch out the back. It’s also a great source for stress relief when that nervous energy builds up. Warning: excessive bouncing is contagious.
- Stretch yourself. Did you know if you sit all day at work you literally lose years off your life? Take time to stretch at least every couple of hours and take care of you!
- Take a hike. If you can find a minute or two during this crazy season, get out of the office for a short walk. And once the endorphins kick in, you may even feel like bringing back a treat for your coworkers.
- Take it easy. No one can do everything day in and day out, and we all know our brains simply cannot multitask. So give yourself a break. Tackle each task one at a time. And if you need help, ask for it.
- Kick the can. It’s amazing how much stress you can eliminate when you trust the people around you and delegate. I know it can be hard to let go for us control freaks out there, but this is a way to take some of the “high” priority to-do’s off your list. And marking off those to-do’s is truly gratifying.
- Clear the clutter. A desk piled high with papers and folders only fuels the fire of your stress. File the clutter away and keep your desk top clear and clean. It’s amazing how much better this one step will make you feel.
- Control time. Put your phone on “do not disturb,” send “Chatty Cathy” on her way and close your door if you need to. All these unnecessary distractions are obstacles between you and your deadlines, making you anxious…and crabby. Your time is valuable, so take control of it before it slips away from you
- Get silly. One of our favorite stress relievers is Silly Putty. Each of us has several containers stashed at our desk to stretch, knead and, when necessary, throw at each other.
How do you handle stress? I’d love to hear your creative ideas, so drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, I’ll just have another piece of chocolate.
Happy annual enrollment!