6 ways to relieve stress at work

Whether you’re in-office or remote, stress impacts work performance and can affect your personal life. According to OSHA, “83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress and 54% of workers report that work stress affects their home life.” Here are some ways you can manage stress at work:

  1. Take technology breaks: Technology helps us stay connected with friends, family, and co-workers, but the constant stimulation can become overwhelming. Give your mind and eyes a rest by putting your phone on do not disturb, setting timers for social media apps, and taking regular breaks from screen time. To reduce eyestrain, follow the “20-20-20 rule.” The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests for every 20 minutes of looking at a screen, try looking at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.  
  2. Plan your snacks and meals. It’s noon, and you didn’t pack a lunch (again). The pizza place across the street from your office beckons you. With a little bit of prep, you can avoid this all-too-common scenario. Plan some nutritious dinners that will yield leftovers for lunch the next day, and keep healthy snacks at your desk in case of emergencies. Check out the connection between diet and mental health.
  1. Get at least 7 hours of sleep (at home, not at work). Working on no sleep is a no-no for your mood and stress levels. Create a sleep schedule by going to bed around the same time each night. Try going to bed 10 minutes earlier each night until you’ve reached your goal bedtime. Check out our tips for better sleep.
  1. Stand up, move around, and breathe. The mental health benefits of movement and exercise have been touted for years. If you’re sitting all day at work, take frequent breaks to move around and stretch. Standing desks are a great way to break up long spells of sitting. On your break, focus on your breathing and try a walking or sitting meditation.
  1. Stay connected. If you’re comfortable doing so, talk with your work bestie or group of work friends about stressors at work. Check in with your teammates to share a laugh or plan an outing outside of the office. Many organizations provide mental health services for their employees like anonymous support lines or benefits like Lyra Health. Check with your company’s employee resources team to find out what’s available.
  2. Make a plan. If stress at work or home isn’t getting better, talk with your PCP or behavioral health provider. They’ll help create a plan to manage stress and connect you with the support you need.

Resources at Mass General Brigham Health Plan

  • Optum Behavioral Health is available to all Mass General Brigham Health Plan members. With Optum, you can search for providers who offer outpatient services, day programs, residential programs, autism care, and substance and recovery services.
  • Lyra Health is available to many Mass General Brigham Health Plan members. With Lyra, you can find mental health services and make an appointment with a therapist or coach.
  • Substance Use Treatment Helpline — This helpline is available to connect you with a trained and licensed advocate. They will answer questions, connect you with treatment providers, and help create a personalized treatment plan. You can call the Substance Use Treatment Helpline at 855-780-5955, 24 hours a day.

For more resources, visit massgeneralbrighamhealthplan.org/behavioral-health

Stay connected with Mass General Brigham Health Plan by following @MGBHealthPlan on InstagramLinkedIn, and Facebook.


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