If you only do five things to combat job stress in 2014…

How can you avoid repeating the job stresses of last year? (pic: istockphoto.com/Pashalgnatov)

How can you avoid repeating the job stresses of last year? (pic: istockphoto.com/Pashalgnatov)

… do these ones.

OK. So, Christmas is over and you’re suddenly thrust back into the hotseat. All the things you promised yourself you’d change haven’t. Half a day back at your desk and you’re already in meltdown. Festive excesses are playing havoc with your waistline, your energy levels and your tolerance of the annoying people chomping crisps on the commuter train. And you find your colleagues far too focused on the crucial client meeting you really, really did mean to prepare for the day after Boxing Day.

In short, you feel back to where you started. But, there are five things you CAN do straight away to feel you’re back in control in 2014 and not under the pull of all those stresses from last year…

1. Sleep. When you get home, don’t check that final email or do some extra bit of work or make some part of your house more perfect. After the Christmas period, which can be stressful and busy and full-on for many, you need to catch up some sleep after those late nights. Your tolerance and patience levels will thank you for it.

2. Turn your smartphone off. You’re not paid to be on call 24/7, so why act like you are. You also don’t need to be at the beck and call of all your friends, ready to answer – Mastermind-style – all those questions on the ups and downs of their social life. You don’t have to know every post your 316 friends post on social media sites, or have to know what the latest reality TV celebrity is up to. You CAN deal with social media anxiety withdrawal by getting on with your real life and enjoying a ‘social media cleanse‘.

3. Do some exercise. Any exercise. It can be a vigorous game of squash, learning a new dance post-Strictly, doing two extra lengths in the swimming pool, or ice-skating ahead of the final series of Dancing on Ice. Basically, do anything that helps relieve the chattering monkey in your head. Do something you love that you will switch off the stress button in your chest. You may get a bigger buzz and a clearer sense of who, where and what you are.

4. Cut out sugar. It may help stop mood swings, and once you’ve cut it out you may stop craving it. Nothing worse than those highs and lows – especially when you feel compelled to go out for the colleagues’ chocolate run at 4 in the afternoon.

5. Talk to someone you trust. Keeping things to yourself can compound your stress and anxiety. Getting your feelings out in the open can be a major stress reliever.

For extra help in the New Year to manage your job stress, email davanticounselling@gmail.com or call 07956 823501.

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