It’s one of those days, or maybe one of those weeks, months, or even years, when everything seems to be going wrong. Economic concerns and reports of job loss bombard the news and your thoughts; your workload literally towers above your head, threatening to topple and crush you under its weight. And to top it all off, your cube-mate makes Dwight Schrute seem the embodiment of normality.
The pressures of work and home can be overwhelming, but before you detonate from built-up stress, use these five tips for healthy ways to blow off steam at work.
Take a break. Release pent-up frustration by taking a break from the task at hand. Find a quiet place to unwind when you feel provoked or annoyed by a boss or co-worker, before you snap under the pressure. If the weather allows, spend a few minutes outside to enjoy the air, or take a short walk to help release tension.
Escape at lunch. Spend time away from the office during your lunch break instead of working through lunch or not even taking your much needed break. Take a drive, wander through a park or a local bookstore, or take a nap so that you can return to work with a renewed focus. Utilizing your lunch will help you feel refreshed and better prepared for the challenges of the day.
Clean your desk. Take time to organize your workspace. This is a productive way to physically alleviate aggravation and expend extra energy. Cleaning the area you work in will help you feel less overwhelmed and will leave you ready to tackle your next task.
Listen to music. Listen to music to take your mind off stressful situations and soothe your emotions when you’re upset. Music releases endorphins in your brain that can help you relax, so if your job or company allows you to use an mp3 player at work, release your frustrations to the beat of a song. But be sure to use headphones so you don’t add to your co-workers stress levels.
Laugh a little. Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” When you or a co-worker feel overwhelmed or stressed at work, use humor to lighten the mood. Play a team-building exercise or tell a joke or story to a co-worker who is feeling frustrated. Laughter in the workplace promotes creativity and understanding, strengthens relationships, and can be the “best medicine” when you’re feeling stressed.
Office outbursts often have a trickle-down effect that can impact your work relationships, company, and even your career, so before you get irritated at work, practice these tips to blow off steam without losing control.