While the phrase ‘new year, new you’ has become a bit of a cliché, the start of a new year can be a great time to reflect on how you’re going and think about what areas of your life could use a little improvement. Making a few small changes could be all you need to help alleviate a bit of stress and increase your general happiness.
- Set achievable goals.
Not meeting your own expectations is a common issue in the workplace that can cause you stress and disappointment. Make an effort at the start of each day to set yourself tasks that you believe can actually be done on that day. Break down bigger tasks and tick things off as you go so by the end of the day you have more ticks than empty boxes.
- Talk more.
Whether turning to a friend at work or a family member, talking through what’s going on in your life can be a great way to relieve stress and get support. Make yourself accountable and put something in your diary like a weekly coffee with a mate or a phone call to your mum.
- Set some boundaries for ‘me time’.
It’s important to have time away from work to recharge and not think about work. Block out some time everyday where you can’t be contacted by work. Turn your phone or emails off and allow yourself to pursue something that will help you unwind. Hanging out with family and friends or other hobbies like reading, watching movies or going for walks can be a great way to relax.
- Value your time.
Think about what you like doing and then make a list of activities that you don’t enjoy spending your time on. While it may not be possible to avoid certain tasks in the office, try to limit your time doing them and make more time for things you do enjoy.
- Get your steps up.
Exercise is often top of the resolution list, but it can often be too daunting to jump right in. Research shows that 30 minutes moderate exercise can help with stress relief as well as physical health and it doesn’t have to be all at once. You could do 10 minutes on your way to work, 10 at lunch time, and then 10 after work. This could be as simple as walking an extra bus stop or to a café further down the street.
- Ask for flexibility.
Flexible working arrangements can help improve your general wellbeing by working in ways that better fit your day-to-day life. Whether this be a change of location, altered hours or extra (purchased) leave.
- Take your breaks at work.
It’s easy to get caught up in meetings or work through your lunch break, but if this is becoming a regular thing it may be time to try and change this habit. Giving yourself a break, even just five minutes for a quick walk or coffee, helps give your brain a chance to rest and reset, helping boost productivity on your return.
If you’re constantly surrounded by distractions at work, like background chatter in an open plan office, make an effort to block it out. Put in your earphones and put on your favourite music to help keep you relaxed and focused. If you find music too distracting (can’t help singing along) you can even use websites that offer different background noises that can help keep you stay focused.