The boss needs that file on his desk immediately, the phone is ringing off the hook, a client sent in a scathing email, AND it’s only Monday. We’ve all had to deal with stress at work and if it is constant, it can spell bad news for your health. The American Heart Association and Columbia Bank have teamed up to give you some tips that will help you manage your stress and keep your health top of mind
When it comes to making changes to improve your health, perfection can be the enemy of progress. Rather than focusing on overhauling your life all at once, instead focus on what you can do right now:
"Small changes can add up in a big way to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke. These days, Americans are working longer hours, so the American Heart Association encourages everyone to stick with healthy choices at home and in the workplace," says Cheryl Dale, Executive Director, American Heart Association Puget Sound.
Take your breaks! When you’re facing a crucial deadline it can seem like a good idea to work through lunch or put your head down and skip breaks. However, taking a few minutes away from your desk or going for a quick walk not only gives your brain some time to relax, but even slight activity can leave you feeling physically refreshed.
Grab a bite with a hilarious coworker or friend and you’ll practically be able to see the stress melting away. You’ll return to work with a smile on your face and be motivated to tackle even the toughest projects.
Watch what you eat That being said, make healthy choices at lunch to feel energized for the rest of the day instead of lazy and lethargic. A more productive Monday leads to a less chaotic Tuesday, which will hopefully lead to an early (and refreshed) exit on Friday.
On top of that, choosing a salad over a gigantic bacon cheeseburger may help you keep your weight in check. Did you know that a loss of even 10 pounds may help lower blood pressure? That is definitely food for thought!
Be your own greatest fan Thinking positively or even cheering yourself on while you work will undoubtedly put you in a great mood. Whether it’s listening to music that always pumps you up or literally patting yourself on the back, you’re sure to notice your days seem brighter.
If you catch yourself needlessly criticizing your work, take a moment and give yourself a pep talk. Focus on the positives and remind yourself of the great work you’ve done in the past and the even better work you’ll do in the future. You’re #1! You’re #1!
Go Home! Lastly and most importantly: We’ve all had to stay late occasionally to tie up some loose ends, but don’t make it a habit or an imperative. Delegate tasks, ask for help, or identify the processes that are causing the extra work instead of constantly playing catch up.
Once you are at home, make sure to spend some time completely connecting with your family and friends. Forget about tomorrow’s meetings and focus on your loved ones to relieve the stresses of the day and completely put your mind at ease.
While it is probably impossible to make work completely stress-free, there are plenty of little things you can do to keep a smile on your face during the week. A stress-free heart is a happy heart, so make sure to take our advice to keep your ticker in tip-top shape for many years to come.
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