Issue #25   •   Quarter 3/4 Edition   •   December 2018


Article Index

Managing Stress At Work

By Osato Akele (PAD)

  • Make time for regular exercise.

    Aerobic exercise—activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat—is an effective way to lift your mood, increase energy, sharpen focus, and relax both the mind and body. Rhythmic movement—such as walking, running, dancing, drumming, etc.—is especially soothing for the nervous system. For maximum stress relief, try to get at least 30 minutes of activity on most days. If it’s easier to fit into your schedule, break up the activity into two or three shorter segments. And when stress is mounting at work, try to take a quick break and move away from the stressful situation. Take a stroll outside the workplace if possible. Physical movement can help you regain your balance.

  • Minimize sugar and refined carbs.

    When you’re stressed, you may crave sugary snacks, baked goods, or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries. But these "feel-good" foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy, making symptoms of stress worse not better.

  • Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood.

    Avoid foods containing such things as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones.

  • Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost.

    The best sources are fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines), seaweed, flaxseed, and walnuts.

  • Avoid nicotine.

    Smoking when you're feeling stressed may seem calming, but nicotine is a powerful stimulant, leading to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety.

  • Plan regular breaks.

    Make sure to take short breaks throughout the day to take a walk or chat to a friendly face. Also try to get away from your desk or work station for lunch. It will help you relax and recharge and be more, not less, productive.