We’ve all felt stressed out at one point or another. We know it’s not good for us but it’s a hard thing to shake. It triggers a fight or flight response which gives us adrenaline and makes our heart beat faster. In the worst scenarios, it can lead to anxiety and poor decision-making. A certain amount of stress though can be good. Some people even say they work better when they have a tight deadline or a hands-on manager. Stress at work is almost inevitable. But with greater connectivity and longer working hours, many people are finding it hard to stop stressing when they leave work. How can you leave stress at the office door?
Give yourself a digital detox
You probably spend most of your work day on the computer. But time at home doesn’t have to be the same. Jessica Semaan, CEO of The Passion Co., recommends digital detoxing. “As a founder taking time off is not about traveling but it is about digital detoxing and connecting with nature and myself. In order to avoid burn out you must often come back to your body by removing all distractions.” If you set aside time to be off your phone and computer, you’ll be better able to concentrate the next day.
The health benefits of physical activity are numerous. But getting active also increases energy and boosts of your mood. It can also help you get a better sleep so you’re more rested and ready to return to work the next day. Many people who work at startups say that being active (whether its biking, playing a sport or doing yoga) is a key to keeping their stress levels at bay.
“Learn new things, laze, read, play”
While startups do better at incorporating a little play at work, people often forget the importance of playing at home. And there are so many ways to play! Learning a new language or craft, cooking or playing a game of cards are all great ways to de-stress. Georg Räth, an editor at Gründerszene, recommends compensating for stressful times by relaxing regularly. Playing is not just for kids!
Maybe you can’t eliminate thinking about work entirely. And that’s okay. Being away from work means that you can think about the day and work week with less strain. Paula Schwarz, CEO of StartUp Boat, says she writes down her top priorities in the morning. “Looking at the finished and done list in the evening makes me feel proud and gives me energy for the next day” she says. It’s better to set goals outside of office hours when you have a clear head and time to think.
Explore where you live
If you work at a startup, chances are you live in a pretty cool city. You might be an avid traveller but planning trips can sometimes add to stress. You might have to arrange time off, accommodation and flights. Don’t forget how much there is to see and do just outside of your window. Plan a visit to a museum, bike a different way home or see a new park. You’ll be able to zen out and get inspired.