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  • Writer's pictureSusan Carr

Clocking Out, Staying Stressed: Managing the After-effects of Work-Related Stress

In today's fast-paced world, work-related stress has become all too common. As the demands of our jobs continue to increase and the lines between work and personal life blur, the after-effects of work-related stress can linger long after we've clocked out for the day.

As someone who's worked in the high-pressure environment of law, I know firsthand how vital it is to find effective strategies for managing stress and maintaining a sense of balance. In this post, we'll explore 5 actionable techniques that can help you take charge of work-related stress and create a more harmonious work-life balance.

Set clear boundaries

In this age of constant connectivity, where the expectation of being available 24/7 has become the norm, setting boundaries between work and personal life is crucial. Establish realistic expectations around working hours e.g. take regular lunch breaks and consider whether it is really necessary to reply to that email at 11pm (especially as the reality is that it is unlikely to be actioned until the next day.)

Embrace time management techniques and tools

There are a number of time management apps and tools that can help you prioritise tasks, set reminders, and allocate your time wisely. One technique is the Pomodoro Method (developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s) whereby you take a 5-minute break after every 25 minutes of work.

Make self-care a priority

One of the most common topics I talk to clients about is practising self-care as “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. When we feel stressed, we may not find time for hobbies, but these are the things that will help to relieve stress. Yoga, meditation, relaxation/breathing techniques, massage or taking a bath can all help to reduce stress.

Be active

Regular exercise is a powerful stress-buster. Engaging in physical activity not only helps release built-up tension but also improves mood and overall health. It can also increase energy levels so we feel more motivated and less lethargic.

Exercise does not have to mean the stereotypical idea of getting sweaty in the gym as there are lots of ways to get active, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift, going for a walk or run (especially as there is also evidence that being in nature improves mood), dancing or playing sport.

Practice Mindfulness

Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your routine. Whether it's deep breathing exercises, short meditation sessions, or mindful walks, these practices can help you stay grounded and centred amidst the chaos.

Clocking out doesn't mean you have to carry the weight of work-related stress with you. By recognizing and addressing the aftereffects of stress, you can regain control of your life and create a more balanced and fulfilling existence. With the right strategies, leave work-related stress where it belongs – behind those office doors.

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