It’s hard to be a guy! Guys tend to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, be hard on themselves, and this only leads to stress. Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines for managing stress throughout the work day.
-Breathe through your diaphragm. When we’re stressed, we tend to breathe shallowly, only allowing air to come into our upper lungs. When you breathe in, your belly should push out, if correctly breathing through your diaphragm. Deep, slow breathing calms the body and will actually lower your pulse rate.
-If you’re in a work rut (brain cloudiness, writer’s block), step outside and go for a brisk walk. Getting some fresh air into your lungs and increasing circulation will do wonders for your morale, even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
-Don’t overload on caffeine. Caffeine is great for waking you up in the morning, but it increases the stress hormone, cortisol, and can make you feel more nervous and jittery. Some great alternatives: taking a vitamin B supplement, drinking a big glass of ice water, or some people feel awake after smelling something refreshing like peppermint or eucalyptus.
-Set limits with the people in your life. This means, co-workers, family, or your partner. If your mom has a habit of calling you during work hours and it’s distracting, ask her to please call you after work. Go ahead, blame it on your boss. If a colleague is too chatty, politely inform them that although you enjoy their banter, you really need to focus, and maybe you could catch up for a beer after work.
-Review your time management skills. Make certain that you’re creating realistic expectations for yourself. Whether you’ve got a deadline, or you’re just trying to get to work on time, allow yourself extra time to ensure you’re not panicking to get something done, or be somewhere important.
-De-clutter your life. When your environment feels over-crowded with stuff, it’s always a good idea to let go of things you don’t need. It will help with focus, and will also better accomplish your goals.
-Be aware of your blood sugar. Lots of guys tend to skip breakfast, eat a big meal at lunch, and crash in the afternoon. This fluctuation in blood sugar can make anyone feel stressed, groggy, cause headaches, and feel weak. Try to eat breakfast, even if it’s just a protein shake. This will stave off hunger until lunchtime, and you won’t be starving at lunchtime. Also, keep protein-packed snacks around, like nuts or trail mix. Protein-filled snacks will regulate blood sugar levels, and keep you from crashing throughout the day.
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