In my first blog post, I identified some common work-related stressors and symptoms to look out for. Now let’s take a look at how to approach reducing stress in the rest of your life! Track your stressors: Keeping a journal of your daily stressors can actually reduce stress in the workplace. By writing stressors down, you can figure out which situations are causing you the most stress and how you can respond to them. Develop healthy responses: Writing down your stressors also allows you to see how you may react to a situation. You can separate healthy responses from unhealthy responses. It is common to respond to stress with unhealthy or excessive eating, or resorting to alcohol. Be careful with exercise, though. As much as it can be a good stress reliever, over doing it can cause serious health implications. Find activities that are relaxing to you, such as yoga, reading, watching a movie or a TV show. Get a good night’s sleep, as fatigue can impact you the next day and stress may just accumulate. Create boundaries: Technology surrounds us and can feel overwhelming at times as it makes us available anytime, anywhere. It is important to take breaks and create a work-life balance. I know some jobs require you to be available when at home, but it’s essential to set some guidelines for yourself. This could be as little as not answering a phone call past a certain time in the evening, or even making sure you eat dinner at the table with your family. As a rule of thumb, I never check my email when I’m at home. Turn off the switch: It’s critical you find time away from work or work-related activities. Give your body and mind a chance to regain its level of functioning by turning off the work switch. Find relaxing ways to avoid burning out from work. Instead of using a smartphone or device for a break, go for a walk to grab a coffee or meet a friend for lunch. Burnout can drastically affect performance and you may find yourself doing even more work without taking that relaxing break. Relax, Relax, and Relax: This is very similar to what I mentioned above but I want you to understand how important this concept is. Everyone has their own ways of relaxing, such as music, deep breathing, reading, etc. I recommend the app CALM. It’s a relaxation app with many deep-breathing exercises, relaxing stories, and mindfulness exercises, giving you the chance to be grounded and focus on something not related to work. Get Support: This is possibly the most effective method of reducing your stress, and may be achieved through reaching out to your supervisor, friends, family, or a health care professional. If you find that the stress is overwhelming, it is important to seek professional support. Stress can affect performance and can also impact your health. If you are an employer looking to accommodate an individual regarding stress in the workplace, please tune in into part three of this blog. Feel free to pass this information along to coworkers, supervisors, managers, and others in your workplace. As an employer, you can save your organization various costs by dealing with stress in the workplace. Author: Nazeef Gangji, OT (c), Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta EWI Works offers many services that can improve your quality of life. Find out more about our Online Training, Services, and Resources. Follow us on Twitter for more updates and offers, or sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of our homepage.