When Sunday rolls around, do you kick your feet up for a day of chillaxing? Maybe even extend the weekend’s festivities with “Sunday Funday” plans? Well, if “worrying about work” was your first thought instead, you’re not alone.
An alarming 86% of workers in the North East report being stressed over work, and that number is going up across the nation. This isn’t just about those pre-Monday blues either. It’s a major epidemic, and it may be destroying your health.
Forbes has reported that stress caused $190 billion dollars in US healthcare costs this year alone. Stress is a drain on your business’ time and money, and it takes a major toll on your team’s well-being.
Fortunately, there are some proven simple methods you can start today to reduce stress. They might even save next Sunday for you.
1. “Me” time is vital.
The US Women’s Soccer Team just became the undisputed champions of the world for the first time in 16 years. But if Carli Lloyd had never taken a day off, would she have scored those three goals?
Avoiding a break can be incredibly unproductive, if not downright dangerous. That’s why I always schedule some “me” time, no matter how busy my schedule is.
Without fail I take a relaxing walk after work, no cell phones or email allowed. The agenda is nothing but relaxing thoughts.
You should schedule a block of time every day, even if it’s fifteen minutes, to clear your head and reflect on something other than your next presentation, even if you’re a world class athlete.
2. There’s a reason dogs are called a (wo)man’s best friend.
No matter what catastrophe is brewing in my office, my rescue pup, “Magic,” is always happily wagging her tail. Always. This is a good thing too, because science has proven that a pet’s worry-free attitude is passed on to its owner.
In one study, bringing dogs to the office led to a whopping 70% reduction in worker stress. Consider getting a furry friend, not only for your own sanity, but to bring to work and calm your team down. If possible, implement a weekly pet day at work, too.
There’s one more benefit. It’s hard to focus on a Power Point slide when you’re walking an excited dog around town. Pets force you to take “me” time every day, no matter what.
3. Keep your eye on the prize.
In investing, I’ve seen people throw 20 years of planning out the window because of a temporary stock market drop. Too many people let their emotions get in the way of their goals.
When you’re stressed about something, you need to look at your long-term goals and see if the stress is just a temporary reaction to something you can overcome, or if it’s a rational response to legitimate danger.
A new job could be making you worried, but if you look at how it will propel your career the stress suddenly seems manageable.
Stress is a natural human reaction, but it stopped serving its evolutionary purpose a long time ago. In the caveman days, it was an indicator of immediate, physical, mortal danger. Today, it’s a response to paperwork, and an outsized one at that.