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Friday, November 16, 2012

Stress and how to deal

Stress at work is sometimes good, because it motivates. However, there are times it can overwhelm a worker so they become less productive. I remember working as a waitress when I was in high school and the busier the restaurant became, the more stressed the workers. It was fine because it made us move faster and accomplish more. But then as more and more customers arrived, we reached the peak, when the body cannot move faster or work harder or smarter. That's when dishes got dropped, orders became lost in the shuffle and customers had to wait too long. We would start rushing mindlessly, not doing a very good job and if the situation didn't improve, we would eventually burn out and not care. Here are some tips I hope are helpful for stress management.
 
Dealing with stress
 Walk away - Sometimes the answer to stress is to just walk away for a few minutes. That's why breaks are so important. It's important for desk workers as well as restaurant staff.
"Take a breather" - This is a phrase that a former supervisor of mine used. She was smart. If you can't walk away, breath in and out slowly for a minute.
Delegate - Share your work if you can. Think of it as being generous with your coworkers. 
Assertiveness - Tell people no if you are overwhelmed. They can ask someone else to help them.
Caffeine - Cut down if you can stay awake on the job, Caffeine increases stress.
Eat right - Eat healthy, include fruit and vegetables in your diet. Avoid salty and high cholesterol foods. Request reduced sodium and lower cholesterol menu items when dining out.
Exercise - Daily exercise is helpful for your body and mind.
Relax Max - Take time for yourself, to relax, get organized and do things that interest you. Hang out and talk to your friends, family and coworkers. Meditate, pray, do yoga, get a massage and take a warm bath are other ways to relax.
Laugh - If you find yourself getting worked up over something, try to put it into perspective. Recently, I was worrying about something relentlessly, and then I thought about it and realized it was very trivial. That made me laugh, not just because I had been silly, but also because I was able to step outside of myself and see how unimportant the worry had been.
Wine - Okay alcohol is not the answer, but a glass or two of wine once in awhile can be quite therapeutic. Alcohol can cause sleeplessness though, so don't drink too much or you'll be more stressed the next day.

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