Take control of work stress by taking control of you


Take control of work stress by taking control of you

For many of us, work is stressful. (Understatement of the year). And while we fully empathise and relate, we’d like to remind you that it’s not forever.

But for as long as you are going to work, let’s look at the stuff you can control. And how taking control of those things, can help you feel more prepared for what work throws at you, and a lot less stressed.

You’re in control of what you eat.

By reducing your sugar consumption, you reduce energy crashes. And by reducing energy crashes, you improve productivity. And by improving productivity, you decrease stress. Obvious, we know, and yet so many of us are quick to grab a muffin or a chocolate croissant along with our morning coffee. Yes it’s convenient, but what’s not convenient is feeling sluggish at work. The knock-on effect is real. A chocolate croissant becomes an energy crash which becomes an unproductive day which sets you on the back foot which makes you feel stressed. Grab a banana instead and watch your energy levels soar, AS WELL AS sustain.

You’re in control of improving how much sleep you get.

Sleep is really important. As you drift off to sleep, your body begins its night-shift work: Healing damaged cells, boosting your immune system, recovering from the day’s activities, recharging your heart and cardiovascular system for the next day. If your body doesn’t get a chance to properly recover, you’re starting the next day at a disadvantage, and might find yourself: Feeling drowsy, irritable or depressed, struggling to take in new information, craving more unhealthy foods, which further exacerbates the cycle.
If the above happens night after night, it places a lot of strain on your nervous system, body and overall health. So if you’re not sleeping well or aren’t feeling rested when you wake up in the morning, we suggest you put some things in place to give your body and mind the best chance of getting 8 hours.

Your best chance of getting a good night’s sleep includes:

A good pillow. This may seem obvious but too many people are sleeping on cheap Hollowfibre pillows that don’t properly support their neck and spine. We recommend the SpineAlign Classic Pillow with Memory Foam, available on TakeAlot for R454 (delivery included).

Lights out 2 hours before bed time. And we’re not talking about your side lamp. We’re referring to any screen with a blue back light. This includes your phone, iPad, laptop and even your TV. The only screen that’s allowed near you, is that of a Kindle. Why? Blue light tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime.

A good book. Nothing weighs the eyelids down like the simple act of reading. Find one you really like and fall asleep like you did as a child: with a story :) Bonus: Reading improves your vocabulary. Which will in turn improve your communication at work. WIN WIN.

You’re in control of your body.

Exercise, another word that raises cortisol levels for many. Not literally, exercise actually reduces cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in the long run, but for those of us who are not making the time to move our bodies, the guilt alone is enough to make us feel stressed. Ironic, because by not exercising, we’re increasing stress levels that could actually be significantly decreased by just 20 minutes of exercise a day. Our bodies were made to move, if you’re not doing a physical activity for at least 20 minutes a day, you’re on the back foot. Take that back foot for a walk instead! :)

“Eat, sleep and move” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller “Eat pray love”. But, by ensuring that you’re eating well, sleeping enough and moving more, you will feel equipped to take on whatever your work day throws at you. Because while you’re not in control of what it is that gets hurled your way, you are in control of you. In summary: Less chocolate croissants, less sleep depriving Netflix and more moving = less stress at work.


Date Published: 
Spec-Savers is a proud member of the MediWallet medical account network