Forty percent of U.S. employees describe their job as being very stressful, and 25 percent see their job as their primary stressor, according to the American Institute of Stress. In addition to compromising workers’ health, employee stress can cause companies to forfeit up to $300 billion per year in lost productivity.
Reduce Work Stress with These Morning Routines
Want to set yourself up for less stress during the workday? The secret lies in your morning routines. To reduce work stress, give these morning habits a try this week:
- Take the least-stressful morning route to work — The shortest drive to work isn’t always low-stress. If you get stressed out by driving on a busy highway, even if it gets you to work sooner, waking up earlier to take a less-hectic route to the office might make a huge difference in your daily stress level.
- Don’t read emails in the morning — Opening any work-related apps first thing in the morning might give you the impression that you are getting a jumpstart on your workday, but starting your workday as soon as your feet hit the ground is a recipe for stress. That said, try to avoid reading emails before you get to work. Give yourself a chance to gather your thoughts and prepare for the day well before you tackle Gmail.
- Wake up a few minutes earlier — There are few things more difficult than trying to turn into a morning person if you are not one naturally, or attempting to become an early morning person. Nevertheless, getting up a bit earlier can reduce work stress later in the day. “If you wake up just 10 minutes earlier, it’ll take the edge off that rush and give you a more relaxed entry into the day,” stated Prevention.
- Breathe — Tomorrow morning, take note of how you breathe as you prepare for your day. Is your chest tight as you inhale? Is your breathing shallow or rushed? If so, purposely slow your breathing down. Try this: breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. After a few rounds of this breathing routine, you might find that you not only have a low-stress morning but also that you experience less work stress later in the day.
Fight Work Stress One Morning at a Time
Being stressed at work has become the norm, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fight back against the stress monster. Choosing the most peaceful route to work, steering clear of morning emails, waking up 10 minutes earlier than usual, and slowing down your breathing as you prepare for your day can help you reduce work-related stress significantly.
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