Aug 19

cool-businessman

Boss man got you down? Clients playing the part of Victorian slave owners? Well we know that work sucks and you would much rather be golfing but is it all bad? Work brings you money, and money buys things that can potentially make you happy, plus being employed impresses people… right? So we are stuck working—at least those of us who need to work—so why not make it tolerable? The following list is my 10 tips for relieving work-related stress. I have found that the main cause of stressing over work is our inability to detach, keep things in perspective, and not take it personally. The way to accomplish these things is to find ways to relax, put your mind on something else, and set boundaries between your home life and your job.

1. Happy Hour

If you are a social butterfly then there is nothing better than Happy Hour with people you don’t hate as much as the general staff. Doing this in teams of 4-6 is amazing since a loud bar, cheap booze, and completely off the record banter can be akin to having an orgasm after some lengthy, awkward sex. Was that too much? Sorry.

2. Recreational Gamer’s Club

A few of my friends and I would take Thursday and play video games after work and then pool after that. It was the day to let it all go through conquering each other’s villages in the games, or slamming the 8-ball into the side pocket after a glorious billiards game. You can make it a bowling night, darts, whatever. The point is it is still a week night, but Thursday is the day before the best day of the week Friday. It is also Thor’s day, and women love Thor… not sure how that is relevant but let’s run with it.

3. Set A Car Boundary Rule

What is the Car Boundary Rule? Well, unless you are on call at your job, you can make sure that as soon as you get in your car to leave you are not allowed to discuss, think, or stress out about work until you park there again the next day. This one has worked wonders for me throughout the years and a little John Coltrane in your CD deck doesn’t hurt either.

late-nights-with-office-wife

4. Get an Office Wife or Husband

Of course this is harmless folks, come on – would I drive you to cheat? We all need an attractive member of the opposite sex to lend an ear don’t we? Well who better than an office wife at the job? You don’t have to eat lunch with her every day, or find excuses to bring her into your office and close the door, but long walks to the water-cooler, elevator rides together and the occasional lunch date can lighten up your day. Same goes for women, you can have a guy to bounce queries off of when your real husband confuses you, or a willing ear to vent after an annoying board meeting.

5. Bring Your Boss Down To Earth

Some people are a few inches short of kowtowing to their boss and kissing his/her feet. We get it, you are happy to be employed but how relaxed can you be if you’re always trying to impress someone? Chances are your boss notices it, appreciates it, but is simultaneously weirded out by it when you come off this way. Your boss is in a higher position than you are and can fire you, but he/she is a human being sucking up the same oxygen you are. Keep it respectful but be a man (or woman) and relax!

6. Say NO to Loser Co-Workers

You know those people whose life is the job? The same ones who gossip about other people’s personal life, trolls their Facebook for dirt, and actually cares that your office is bigger than theirs? They are losers. Keep their fellowship at arms-length and do your work (while avoiding their passive aggressive attempts to get you fired) and it will be less stress at work for you.

7. Never Forget That it’s A Job

stressed-womanDo you own shares in your company? Are you an owner of some sort? If the owners decide to sell the business will they ask you how you feel about it or offer you a piece of the buyout? If you answered NO to all of these then you are at your company to make your boss richer, nothing else. Sure your work may be for the greater good and you are a champion worker for them but it isn’t your company. Never lose sight of this fact or it will stress you to no end when it comes time to leave.

8. Always Have Another Option

Not to pipe on the whole “you’re a lowly slave at your job so stop caring” thing but you are a lowly slave at your job so stop caring. You are expendable—am I stressing you out? You need to have your act together so that if the floor falls out from under you, you have a plan B. This means that you should have a solid network of people who are not only employees like yourself but business owners, entrepreneurs and people who know people. You should also have 6+ months of savings in the bank too… but I will leave that part alone – turn on Suze Orman once in a while and listen (when she isn’t taking calls from ridiculous people). Having these things in place will make you feel like an asset to your job and not a wage slave. Less stress when you feel like they need you, trust me.

9. Have Lunch Outside of the Office

Even if you only get a 30 minute lunch get the hell out of there and eat in your car or something. The therapy that comes from the open air hitting you when you exit your job’s building is amazing. You can give your eyes a rest if you work on computers, or stretch your legs if you sit all day. Lunch is a good excuse to escape for a bit and it prevents people from trying to get you to answer work-related questions when you’re obviously off the clock.

10. Start a Side-Hustle

Some jobs get pissed when they find out that their slaves are getting a little action on the side so keep this quiet. A side-hustle is something you get into not solely for more money but more so to fuel a passion and to give you something that is yours to focus on. You can start writing a book, put up an online store, or even teach a class after work. If you have more than one thing going on and one of them is something you love then you will find that it becomes harder to stress out about drama at work.

So there you have it, my 10 tips to remove the stress from your 8 to 5. Work is something that has been with man from the beginning of time; do not pretend that it is going away. Deal with it on your own terms and put yourself in a position where losing said work is not as big a deal as your friends make it out to be.

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  • Great Article Greg, but you forgot a crucial element. Exercise. Stress disappears, and the mind just processes horrible shit after lifting some weights. That’s how the military stays sane (for the most part) after seeing ridiculous stuff day in day out. But still a great article, and definite policies that every workplace/employee should embrace.

    • You know Will, I did a whole article on how training keeps my work-life stress free too.. I practically live by the mantra so it’s odd that I forgot to add it there. Good catch and you are 100% right.

  • Joy D

    I take a 45 minute to an hour walk each day after work. While walking I listen to audiobooks, music, or random podcast. It helps with stress and it keeps me looking good!

    • I bet you’re really pleasant to be around too at work due to that 45 minutes. I go early in the morning to the gym… between the supplementing, the training and the mad dash to get to work I’m normally a wired, crazy person but it makes the day extra long, relatively stress-free and most of all productive.