7 Ways To Have A Stress-Free Workday

7 Ways To Have A Stress-Free Workday

It’s 6pm on Sunday and the anxiety’s starting to kick in.

You know, the “I have to work tomorrow” anxiety.

Isn’t it the freaking worst?

I mean, I’ve had an awesome weekend, but now the thought of having to go back to the office in the morning’s totally bumming me out.

So this week I’m gunna work on making my workdays stress-free.

LOL okay, fine. Maybe not 100% stress-free, but at least as stress-free as possible.

Here’s how you do it, in case you’d like to join me.

1. Understand that you can only do so much.

I have days when I’m almost in tears because I’m so overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do. At that point, I could sit in my cubicle crying, but I don’t. Instead, I accept that I won’t be able to do everything all at once and then I prioritize my workload so I knock out the stuff that’s most important. I’m not a robot, so I can’t get it all done in one day, and I refuse to compromise my health and well-being trying to be one. There comes a point in your day when you just have to say, “Okay, I’ve done a whole bunch of stuff today, so now I’m done. Now it’s time to rest, relax, and recharge. The rest of the work will be here tomorrow.” Because if you don’t, you’re just asking for early career burnout, and THAT my friend, is something you don’t want to have to go through.

2. Don’t let other people’s bad moods get to you.

People have problems. People have lives and drama and because of that, they’re not always in the best of moods at work. It sucks, really, because we should be able to leave our drama at the door and deal with it when we get home, but it doesn’t always work that way. Unfortunately, people bring their bad moods to the workplace and they take out their anger and frustration on the first person they can find. So don’t let someone else’s bad mood get to you. Put up an invisible drama-free forcefield and go about your day happy as a clam, because if yo don’t, and if you let that negative energy get to you, you’re gunna find yourself stressed out for absolutely no reason.

3. Do something fun during lunch.

Anything. I don’t care what it is, just do something fun! Go shopping. Go out to eat. Go to the gym. Go read a book. Catch up with a friend. Just do something that’s not work-related during your lunch break, and have it be something that you really look forward to.

4. Force yourself to smile.

You think it sounds corny, right? Forcing yourself to smile? I thought it did too, until I tried it. I’m telling you, I deal with all kinds of people all day long, and most of the time, I want to strangle them. I want to scream through the phone because some people are just so stupid, and then I find myself angry and agitated and totally stressed the f out. No other way to say it. So when that happens, I sit there at my desk and I force a smile. I look like an idiot, I’m sure, but I do it anyway. And whatever, for some reason, that smiling voodoo magic works, and I can feel my blood pressure returning to normal. That’s an instant de-stressor right there, and God, I don’t know what I’d do without it.

5. Clean your desk.

Believe it or not, having a clean desk makes my day so much better. It’s not that I can’t handle a messy desk, because most of the time I have papers all over the place, but cleaning it for some reason brings about a certain calm to my day. So the next time you’re feeling totally stressed out at work, try taking 5 minutes to tidy up your work area, and you’ll see how much that helps.

6. Take breaks.

We already talked about your lunch break, but that shouldn’t be the only break you take throughout the day. I’m not saying you should get up from your desk and disappear for hours at a time, but you should take breaks just to clear your mind for a few minutes. Go grab some coffee, go get some water, and don’t forget to use the bathroom (this is really an issue when you’re working on a project or trying to meet a deadline). Even if you don’t go anywhere, take a few minutes to stretch at your desk. Take a few minutes to look away from your screen if you use the computer all day. Taking breaks is important, and it helps with managing stress big time.

7. Focus on the why.

This is a big one here. Regardless of how kick-ass your job is, at some point or another, you’ll find yourself doing mundane tasks. You’ll find yourself writing reports and clicking buttons and you’ll probably ask yourself, “What the heck am I doing with my life?” When that happens, try to think about the big picture. Remember why you got into your line of work in the first place. If it was only to pay the bills, then focus on WHY you’re working so hard.

Is it so you can take care of your family? Is it so you can take that vacation you’ve been dreaming about for years? Take some time to reflect on how your work impacts yourself and others, and the annoying work that you’re doing in that very instant will seem worth it.

What else? Tell me! How do you make your work day a little less stressful?!

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24 Comments

  1. Keighla

    May 2, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Thanks for this great post! I love that your blog is geared towards millennials. I posted a similar article on my own website on having a stress-free finals week so I can relate!

  2. Katelin

    May 2, 2016 at 9:42 am

    I also like to reward myself with yummy snacks on particularly tough workdays. No-bake oatmeal cookies, banana bread, or popcorn always encourage me to make it through a long afternoon!

  3. Lee Anne

    May 2, 2016 at 9:44 am

    This is exactly what I needed on this Monday morning. Great tips!
    xo
    Lee Anne
    http://lifebylee.com/

    1. Kayla Cruz

      May 4, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      Wooohoo! Glad you liked! Hope you’re enjoying the rest of your week lady! xoxo, Kayla

  4. Katie

    May 2, 2016 at 10:00 am

    YES YES YES!! It’s always a work in progress but I definitely find that when I ALLOW myself breaks (even if it’s only a minute or two), I am SO much more productive in the long run!

  5. Emily

    May 2, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Love this post! These can really help lessen the blow of going back to work after a fun weekend no matter how much you like your job!

  6. Emma

    May 2, 2016 at 10:17 am

    These are all great tips, Kayla. I especially liked the one abut forcing yourself to smile because it seriously works! I don’t understand the science behind it, but guaranteed if I smile, even when I feel like doing the exact opposite, I already feel tons lighter. I mean, it’s not a cure-all, but yeah. 🙂

    1. Kayla Cruz

      May 4, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Thanks, Emma! I swear I look like a lunatic sitting at my desk sometimes smiling at oblivion, but it’s that, or punching someone in the face, and something tells me that smiling’s the better option! Thanks for stopping by! – Kayla

  7. Shannon

    May 2, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Great tips- thank you! Looking at the big picture does help A LOT- because you are right we often get caught up in the little things- for me lately it’s like why am I sitting at a desk most of my day- but that’s different too because I also am currently a social worker and dream of being a vet tech and am pursuing that [ but have a long road to go still lol]

    So I think also it’s that balance which can be hard of figuring out- am I just upset with the little things about my job or is this career actually not right for me? For me it was the latter. Lol

  8. Marette

    May 2, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I like to use my lunch break to run or fit in a workout. It relieves stress and makes me feel so accomplished. I loved this post!

    Floradise blog

  9. Natasha

    May 2, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I think this is really good advice. I learned a long time ago (and the hard way!) that there’s only so much you can do. I did the stupid thing and took the work home, which didn’t actually help me get that much ahead – it only made me more stressed at home and increased my manager’s expectations of what I could do on a daily basis. Not good. In my opinion, no job is worth your health. Sometimes you do have to suck it up and put in some extra time, but I think a lot of people perpetuate being busy (often for the sake of busy) without thinking of the consequences. Even if you have your own business it’s crucial to look after yourself or you will burn out eventually.

  10. Amber-Lee

    May 2, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Great tips girl!!! Thanks so much + keep up the amazing work! xo

  11. Waterloo Eavestrough Cleaning

    May 2, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Keep up the great work!

  12. Rachel

    May 2, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Love this! My boss is out on maternity leave so I’ve been doing my job + hers and it can get pretty stressful. I’m always reminding myself I can only do so much – especially during this time!

  13. Jenny

    May 2, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    These are such awesome tips! I definitely need to let people’s moods get to me less.

    xoxo, Jenny

  14. Rachel

    May 3, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Love these tips! Having a clean space and doing something relaxing to break up the day is always a great idea!

    Rachel | http://www.seashellsandsparkles.com

  15. Zach

    May 3, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    This. So much this. Honestly, I want to print this out and hand it to everyone in my office.

    Thanks for always posting great stuff!

    Zach
    DumbYoungandBroke.com

    1. Kayla Cruz

      May 4, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Hey my friend! So glad you liked this! Right? Couldn’t more people use some stress relief in their lives? Man, it’s hard going to work every day when people are walking around like little anxiety stress balls about to burst! So here’s to making OUR days the best they can be! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  16. Dylan

    May 4, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    The “why” is so big for me! I ask myself all the time why I am putting myself through so much stress getting my PhD but when I think about the people I am helping and the difference I could make, it makes sense again and pushes me on (sounds corny but true).

    1. Kayla Cruz

      May 4, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      Ahhh, that’s alright! We’re all corny here! LOL, no, but in all seriousness, CONGRATS on getting you PhD and totally kicking butt! Focusing on the why is huge, and you’d be surprised how many people go about life working all day without even thinking about it. That’s what pushes you, that’s what motivates you, and that’s what you need to keep reminding yourself of when things get tough. Best of luck to you!! – Kayla

  17. Bree Hogan

    May 5, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Great tips. It’s so easy to get caught up in it all. I’m all too often guilty of eating lunch at my desk and just working through – I do most of my work from home so don’t have the same distractions that might force me out of my desk as when I’m actually in the office. A timely reminder!

  18. Matt Kohn

    June 8, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Great post! I do the #7 on the list everyday. 🙂 I try to stand up and do some stretches every 1 or 2 hours, it somehow makes me feel relaxed and get my mood back, thus making my day less stressful.

    -Matt Kohn

  19. Steven McMillian

    September 11, 2016 at 8:38 am

    At my job, I learned to do 2 tasks at once. I liked your tips. I need to not let other people’s moods get to me; smile more often; and figure out why I’m doing the job I’m at. I’ve been dreading going to work on Mondays. I don’t want to do that anymore. I appreciate your advice.

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