Back to Managing Your Triggers articles

A woman smiling and holding a cup of coffee

Take That Coffee Break

It’s hardly a surprise that work can be a top cause of stress in our lives. But no job should be so challenging as to cause a cold sore outbreak. Here are a few suggestions on how to keep work challenges in perspective and diminish their emotional impact.

Recognize the warning signs

Are you feeling overwhelmed at work? Losing confidence? Becoming irritable or withdrawn? Are you feeling less productive or finding your work less rewarding? Once you recognize these signs, you can take steps to minimize the emotional effect work is having on your life.

Pay attention to your emotions

Emotions play a role in decision making, thoughts and actions. Ignoring these emotions can make it difficult to understand your motivations and needs and how to communicate them to co-workers.

Laugh it off

Not everything is in your control and you are likely to be thrown any number of challenges throughout your day. Developing the ability to share a laugh with a colleague about an unexpected challenge can help reduce related stress.

Learn the impact of nonverbal cues and body language

Knowing how to read body language and sharing the right message with your own body language is extremely important because it can minimize misunderstandings, making life at work much easier.

Give up on perfection

While it is okay to have high expectations, don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do too much and then fearing that you will fall short. Set realistic goals, work hard at what you are doing and perform the best you can.

Don’t overcommit

At the end of each day, review your schedule and accomplishments. Then think about what you have to do tomorrow. Account for daily downtime and avoid scheduling things one after another or squeezing in too much in one day.

Plan breaks

When you make your schedule, plan breaks so you can get your blood flowing and let your mind rest. Take a walk or get more vigorous exercise midday — just 10 minutes of exercise can improve your mood, make you more focused, increase your energy, and relax your body and mind.