Tag Archives: deep breathing

17 Ways to Lessen Work Stress

17 ways to lessen work stress

Stress is caused by being “here” but wanting to be “there”
Eckhart Tolle

When I worked in Japan in the late 80’s and early 90’s karoshi (death from overwork) was often talked about as many Japanese men would spend a lot of time at work, do overtime and then go out drinking with their boss and colleagues or go to language class. Most of this behaviour was due to peer pressure and cultural expectations.

nursesRecently I read in the newspaper that those working in health care, social services, shipping and construction are dying because of it. Many young Japanese women today are also victims of karoshi. When I speak of over work I’m not talking about a few hours overtime but up to 100 or 160 hours of overtime in the month before their death. Karoshi not only includes death from heart attack and stroke but also suicide from those who can no longer cope with the insane hours and stress placed upon them.

Here in Australia few people die from work stress but many are unhealthy and unhappy because of it.

It is not only stress from overwork that can kill you but studies have shown that failing to take your annual holidays puts you at a greater risk of dying of a heart attack. It’s also a good idea to take the weekend off from work. Turn off the phone, ipad, android or laptop and spend some time with your family and friends so you can go back to work feeling refreshed and better able to deal with whatever work throws your way.

The time to relax

Symptoms of work stress
symptoms of work stressWork stress may not end in death or suicide due to depression but there are many other symptoms that can indicate work stress is affecting your health. These include apathy, anxiety, loss of interest in work, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, digestive problems, dizziness, nausea, headaches, migraines, tight, stiff neck and shoulders, drug and alcohol abuse, trouble concentrating, not being able to rest even when you do take time off, withdrawing from family and friends.

17 ways to lessen work stress
It may not be possible to stop work stress but you can help negate some of its effects by improving your physical and emotional well-being before stress and overwork threatens your health. Try to do at least 5 of the following regularly. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you for it.

Prioritizing your work dayLearn to communicate better with your boss and co-workers.

Prioritize your work day and do the most important tasks first.

Whenever possible delegate tasks.

Exercise each day for e.g. walking, swimming, playing tennis, football, dancing.

Having a good laughSpend quality time with family and friends.

Spend time in meditation or visualising something that represents peace for you.

relaxing aroma massageHave a regular aroma massage – clients having monthly massages find they are better able to handle both work and life stresses.

Take a few deep, slow breaths when stress and anxiety threaten to overtake you.

Greeting the dayDo yoga or tai chi regularly.

Vaporize relaxing or uplifting essential oils like lavender, sweet orange, Roman chamomile, grapefruit, petitgrain, spruce, frankincense.

Watch comedy shows or read funny books and have a good belly laugh.

listening to musicListen to music.

Play with your children and animals.

Get enough sleep. Essential oils that can help you relax and get to sleep include lavender, Roman chamomile, sweet marjoram, neroli, valerian, sandalwood.

Healthy foodEat regular healthy meals. Don’t skip meals as this can leave you tired, anxious and irritable as well as being unable to concentrate.

Leave for work earlier in the morning to avoid traffic jams or crowded trains.

Take time away from work and use your weekends to refresh yourself.

Self Care For Mums

Self care

A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary.
Dorothy Canfield Fisher

A child giving her mother flowersThis Sunday is Mother’s Day – a day when mothers new and old can hopefully get a little time to themselves.

In this day and age many mothers are busy looking after their family, working, shopping and driving their kids around to various events, etc. with very little time to themselves. In fact they may devote themselves entirely to their family with no timeout for themselves getting more and more stressed in the process.

We all need to nourish ourselves on both a physical, mental and emotional level consistently to keep stress at bay. Here are a few ideas for self-care and essential oils that can help you with that.

self care First take some time out for doing things you like such as reading, swimming, playing tennis, walking, massage whether on yourself or by a professional. At the very least you can steal a few moments to take some deep breaths and perhaps do some stretches. If you can do these outside in nature with your shoes off and your feet on the ground you will find your stress levels coming down and you’ll be able to deal with the stresses of family life more easily.

If deep breathing is all you can manage, try breathing in a favourite essential oil or one of the calming oils such as lavender, geranium, bergamot, marjoram or one of the citrus (lemon, sweet orange, mandarin, lime or grapefruit) to give you a lift. You can place about 6 drops in a diffuser to perfume the air or add a drop or two to a tissue to inhale or if you literally have no time try having a sniff or two from your essential oil bottle.

Self massage is another good way to release stress. Simply taking the time out to massage yourself whether it is a neck, shoulder and arm massage or a leg and foot massage can bring the stress levels down. One recipe you can try is lavender 3 drops, geranium 2 drops in 10 mls cold pressed vegetable oil or if you don’t like lavender try Australian sandalwood 2 drops and grapefruit 3 drops. Even better if you have the time have an aromatherapy massage, reflexology, Indian head massage or other bodywork done by a professional which will help you relax.  Just the act of taking time to nurture yourself this way can bring your stress levels down.

You can also consider adding essential oils to a non-perfumed shower gel to invigorate you in the morning or even easier adding a few drops to the shower floor and letting the hot water release the aroma as you’re showering.

Woman Lying in a Bathtub Holding a MugIf you can make the time in the evening having a bath with 4-6 drops of essential oil added to the warm water and swished about with some soothing music playing in the background can also do wonders.

Also consider using essential oils when you are cleaning. For example try using them when cleaning your floor. Add 4 drops of lemon essential oil and 2 drops of eucalyptus to 2 tablespoons of liquid soap. Add this to your warm bucket of water and mop the floor for a fresh clean smell which uplifts you at the same time.

Taking time to eat a healthy meal to which some fresh smelling herbs like rosemary, thyme, marjoram or basil have been added can also bring nourishment to both body and soul.

These are just a few ways you can nourish yourself and keep your stress levels down. If these ideas don’t appeal to you find some that do as it is important that you care for yourself so you have the energy to care for others.