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How Can I Reduce Stress Within the Work Environment? Part 2

Welcome back to part 2 of this blog post! As discussed in part 1, the return back to working from an office is quickly approaching, many of us have already started this transition, and all of us have mixed emotions around this transition. If you’re someone feeling overwhelmed, stressed and even anxious about returning to the office and leaving your sweatpants behind, you’re not alone. This has been a transformative year for all of us, shifting our opinions, perspectives, and the way we move through the world. While how we approach and show up in the work environment may change, the reality of, at some point, having to return to the office is pretty clear. So, if we have to go back into the office, how can we best manage the stress and anxiety that likely accompanies this change?

As discussed in the first part of this blog post, understanding the difference between anxiety and stress is very important in knowing how to best combat those emotions. Mindfulness practices are a great way to begin managing stress and anxiety both in the workplace and at home. While those concepts were discussed in part one, there are additional impactful ways to decrease stress within the work environment that are discussed in part two.

It can be beneficial to separate aspects of our lives into piles of things that we can control and things that are not under our control. While it may be uncomfortable admitting that there are things out of our control, it is more detrimental spending time trying to gain control over something that’s impossible to do so. Once we acknowledge what we cannot control, we can focus on accepting this reality and what that means for how we spend our time each day. Accepting things are out of our control helps us to focus on things that are in our control. It allows us to be aware of where it’s most beneficial to allocate resources to be as productive and efficient as possible. Putting more time and energy towards things that we have the ability to change and have influence over can encourage us and allow us to achieve our goals. When we put our energy towards things we can control, we’re able to see positive change which motivates us to continue working and achieving.

Outside of work, cultivating a hobby is something incredibly beneficial for our mental space. While it’s important to find time to rest and relax, spending hours sitting on the couch, watching tv, can actually have a detrimental impact on our mental health. Having a hobby provides a break in our day with a purpose. It’s using downtime for something productive. Each of us will find peace and solace in different activities. “When we engage in a hobby, we are present and we are in control. No one is making or asking us to do it.” Going back to the idea of putting energy towards things we have control over is again beneficial for our mental health. So, how do we make sure the hobby we decide to dedicate time to is something that’ll be beneficial for us? Well, there are three helpful tips. 1. Choose something that is relaxing for you but also challenges your mind. 2. Make sure it’s something that not only is productive but gives you satisfaction as well. 3. Lastly, make it colorful! Utilizing color has a strong impact on our brains.

I hope these ideas and tips are helpful for you and allow a smooth and easy transition back into the work environment.

If you’ve found yourself struggling with stress related to returning to work or functioning within the work environment, it may be useful to try counseling. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!

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