Whether you get frazzled easily or are pretty chilled, stress is part of life. It affects us all especially when we’re stuck in the four corners of our office. And whether we like to admit it or not, we do need some help on how to deal with stress.
Coworking is a great way to reduce the amount of stress in your work life. For one, it can help you cut down on the commute (especially when you have no choice but to get through rush hour every single day). It can also give you the freedom to do things your way, relieving the pressure of a stressful work environment (goodbye fluorescent cubicle!). Coworking in a collaborative workspace also gives you a sense of community which is a healthy alternative to the isolation of working at home. However, even coworking is not all stress-free. A looming deadline, too much time in front of a computer screen or a particularly difficult project can leave you feeling burnt out. Being aware of how you are feeling and including some simple stress-busting practices into your day can make a big difference.
Here are some simple ways to de-stress in a collaborative space.
Breathing. It’s something we do without thinking, and yet thinking about our breathing can have a big impact on our bodies. If you’re stressed, you breathe in a shallow way. When you’re chilled, you breathe more deeply. Focusing on your breathing and consciously choosing to breathe slowly and deeply essentially hacks your body into thinking it’s relaxed. It also gives you a much-needed boost of oxygen which can help revitalise you and wake you up during a long day. Try this simple technique; breathe in deeply through the nose for a count of 5 and then out through the mouth for a count of 8. Relax your shoulders and sit up straight, allowing for deeper breathing. You’ll feel calmer in no time!
Long-hours at your desk can take its toll on your body. Stress makes muscles tense. We all love a good stretch. But when do we do it? In the morning, in bed, or at night before going to sleep. Maybe before and after a good workout. Why do we do it? It gets the blood pumping, supplying oxygenated blood to the muscles and, well, making you feel great. It’s because exercise releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. These reduce stress and help keep you balanced. For some simple exercises, you can do at your desk, check out our past blog here. Set a reminder so that you get up from your desk and move around a little every hour, and you’ll notice a decrease in your stress level and an increase in productivity.
Give your brain a break. Sometimes you need an interlude, even in the relaxed environment of a coworking space. A short break from a task that is causing you stress can be all it takes for you to crack the problem when you return. To give yourself a proper mental break from work, you have two options. You can indulge in something totally unrelated to your work like a funny video or some stress-busting music (just don’t get too distracted with hours of watching these hilarious videos or you won’t get any work done!). Alternatively, you can seek out an inspirational or motivational video that will give you the kick you need to find your mojo again.
Stepping away from the desk and having a snack can help de-stress you in various ways. First of all, it gives you something else to focus on for a bit. Secondly, a good snack provides the fuel you need to keep you going. Stressed bodies need nourishment so it’s best to go for a healthy balanced snack. Too much caffeine can add to the physical effects of stress, making you more jittery, but staying well-hydrated with water and herbal tea can help stop that mid-afternoon slump without the caffeine boost. That said, a little of what you fancy does you good and sometimes it’s just gotta be a coffee and a muffin.
The type of music that will help you destress will depend on your style. Pop some headphones on and rock out until your frustrations fade or soothe your soul with some restful classical music. Listening to music can make you more productive, completely change your mood and help you to feel differently, reducing stress and even increasing energy levels (very useful for that late-night project or getting you through Monday morning). Boost the stress-relieving properties of the music by taking the time to breathe deeply, do some stretches and relax your body.
Call a friend or hit the breakout areas for a chat with a fellow coworker. A little social interaction can work wonders when you’re stressed. Whether you vent your frustrations, share a good laugh or simply pass the time with small talk, it’s a great distraction and helps you to relax and rest. Laughter or chatting with someone you’re close to can actually reduce levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and boost your self-esteem so you feel better about yourself.
A walk outdoors can invigorate you, refresh your eyes from the screen and give you a mental break from that busy working day. Try to get outside for a brisk walk in between. London is full of green spaces where you really can leave it all behind for a short time. Getting out from under the artificial light and breathing some fresh air are powerful stress busters. Not only is being outdoors a pleasant break from your work but being in nature also reduces your stress markers, calms your heart rate and helps you clear your mind so you can get back to work feeling more focused and in control.
Taking 10 or 15 minutes out of your working routine to clean your desk, organise your paperwork and spend some time improving your surroundings can reduce stress in two ways. Firstly, it provides a break and gives you a productive activity to focus on. Secondly, a decluttered space can help reduce feelings of stress. One of the best things about a coworking space is the fact that it is a pleasant place to spend time in. Pay attention to your pleasant surroundings; slow down and enjoy the artwork and the green plants and refocus. When you return to your work, you will certainly feel refreshed.
When stress gets too much, it helps to prioritise. Think about what’s important and be mindful as you go about your work life. It helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve to help you manage the inevitable stresses and strains at work. As a community, we’ve got to look out for one another, and that is the true value of a coworking and collaborative space. So, reach out and look out for signs of stress; we all feel it, and we can all help eradicate it. For more wellbeing tips, check out our recent blog.
If you want to eradicate the stress of the company office or the isolation of working at home, a shared workspace could be the solution. If you’re looking for a coworking space in London, give us a call or pop in and have a tour of one of our spaces. Sample the coffee and surroundings – you might just be our next coworker!