Three easy & positive ways to deal with stress at work

One of the ‘interesting’ phenomena associated with the recent layoffs we have seen in the oil industry is the impact on those who remain employed. Often, those who keep their jobs have to deal with survivor’s guilt, being tasked with responsibilities that they haven’t had any training for, or being swamped trying to keep up with the workload that used to be done by two or more people. Couple that with the innate tendency to tell ourselves, “you had better not complain – at least you still have a job,” and it’s a recipe for unhealthy levels of stress.

Instead of focusing on the sources of stress, I would like to concentrate on how we can inject activities into our day that help to lower the stress we are all under. After all, it’s here. We’re in it. We need to deal with it.

So here are three easy and positive ways to best tackle our stress:

1. Take a break and read

According to neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, reading as little as six minutes can reduce stress by 68% – that’s more than listening to music or having a cup of tea. I think it’s even better when you get out of the office.

This year, try “Long Lunch, Quick Reads”:  a series of 12 lunch and read sessions at the great Loft 112 in the East Village (it’s an easy and short train ride or walk out of downtown). You can relax, have lunch (bring your own or have one supplied by pre-order), enjoy the great environment and reset your stress levels. I did this many times last year and enjoyed it a lot. It’s the third Friday of every month, anytime from 12 – 2pm. Seriously. Check it out.

2. Get some exercise

By now everyone knows the proven benefits of exercise, including its reductions in stress. There are lots of options available downtown.

  • Go for a walk and explore the 16 km of Calgary’s +15 pedestrian skywalk system
  • Take your pick of any of the eight (at least) health clubs between the Bow River and 9th
  • Head outdoors and enjoy our world-class pathway system. Fresh air, nature and good people watching: how can you beat that?

3. Talk to some plants

Love nature and people watching, but hate the cold? Try the Devonian Gardens at The Core. Surrounding yourself with the abundance of healthy, growing plants at this time of year is good for the soul.

We spend a lot of our days immersed in science, so don’t ignore the scientists who tell you that you need to make time to unplug and relax. Try these suggestions or other methods you use to de-stress and I am certain that you, your heart, and even your supervisor will be glad you did.