How to lower your stress at work

Start the day or week by prioritising your work

Technology is principally to blame. Everything nowadays seems to have a deadline which has to be achieved and it is all too easy to let pressures and stress grow to such an extent that it can impact on your health.

First signs

Recognising the warning signs of stress-related symptoms and taking prompt action is something that good human resources teams should constantly be reminding us of. If you have trouble sleeping, have feelings of anxiety, bad temper, depression, headaches or if you are tempted to reach for the bottle as soon as you get home, then it’s time to make some changes to your routine.

Get moving

Taking exercise for at least thirty minutes each day works wonders. Going to the gym or for a swim after work will help you to quickly wind down. Instead of sitting at your desk at lunchtime, switch off your phone and go for a walk, ideally with a colleague who you can chat to about something other than work.

Good food

Having a nutritious diet is good for all of us especially if you have a busy working life. It is easy to pick up a ready-made meal on the way home but it is far better for you to avoid the burger and the pizza which will make you lethargic, and cook something fresh like chicken or salmon with a salad and plenty of fresh fruit. Just preparing your supper rather than putting a packet in the microwave will do you good.


Getting enough sleep is really important. Just as children need a good night’s rest, so do adults. If you are going to achieve well at work, you need at least eight hours a night to recharge your batteries. Avoid sitting up late in front of the TV with caffeinated drinks but get into a routine, at least from Monday to Friday, with a hot bath or shower and get into bed at a set time. There is nothing like being in a warm bed with a good book to bring on a really good night’s sleep far from the worries of work.

The to-do-list

Start the day or week by prioritising your work. Stress is hugely reduced when you know what it is you need to do and when it has to be done by. Get the harder stuff done first so it is not lingering at the back of your mind.

If everything is planned in your diary then there will always be time to get help if you need it, and delegation is a skill that needs to be mastered. Having positive relations at work is important and by engaging with fellow-workers you will not only make friends but engender relationships which will spread the strain of stress. Some degree of stress is a good thing but what we need is to get the levels right.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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