Beating Stress in the Workplace

Work-related stress can seriously affect your emotional, mental and physical well-being. Today, let me share with you some of my favorite quick and easy stress-busters to help you beat stress.

Get Organized
Personally, my number one go-to stress reliever is cleaning and organizing my things (i.e. desk, cabinet, bag, bed, wallet, etc.). There is something very therapeutic about this task. Not only does it relieve stress, but you also get to be productive at the same time.

Sounding Board
I also find that talking things through with a good listener is very helpful in relieving tension as it allows you to clear your head and clarify your thoughts. Sometimes, when you are bothered by something, a sympathetic ear is all it takes to make you realize that things will be

Kiddie Hug
After a long and tiring day, I find that seeing my children’s gleeful smile and having them wrap their arms around my neck is the quickest way to relieve me of my stress and get me energized for the night. Happy kids have that magical effect on parents. If you don’t have a
kid, perhaps pets may help you.

Another quick and easy stress-buster is entertainment. This comes in many forms such as games, TV sitcoms, social media, movies and books. These things help us chill and THEY relax our minds. As long as we do not over-indulge in these forms of entertainment, these will definitely take away stress almost immediately.

Hot Showers
Oooh… aaah… there’s nothing like a strong, steamy bath to release the tension and relax the muscles in our body. Hot showers definitely do wonders to our mood. Aside from the fact that it cleanses are body, it washes our troubles away as well.

One of the best things about living in the Philippines is access to affordable massages. There are so many good establishments that offer reflexology, foot spas and glorious body massages. With as little as Php250, you can instantly reduce your stress by visiting health clubs, salons or even enjoy these services in the comforts of your home.

Quick Haircut
Whenever I need major stress-busting, a quick trip to the salon almost always does the trick. I think a haircut or blow dry lightens the feel of your hair physically which them lightens your mood. And as an added bonus, you get to look good too.


The things I mentioned above are just some of my favorite stress-busters. These are quick fixes. But if you want long-lasting results, we have to make stress-relief a habit. All of us have our own way of dealing with stress. Here are stress prevention habits shared by my colleague, Ms. Lita Buendia-Aguila (in-house HR consultant of HR Club Philippines) to help you have a stress-free work life.

1. Time Management – Managing one’s time effectively by making a list starting from the most important task down to the least, prioritizing deadlines and avoiding procrastination can reduce stress to a great extent.

2. Good Housekeeping – Good housekeeping is not just about cleanliness. It includes keeping work areas neat and orderly. Effective housekeeping can eliminate some workplace hazards and help get a job done safely and promptly. Make sure that your company is a
comfortable and safe place to work at by doing a day-to-day clean-up and inspection.

3. Smile and laughter – No matter how difficult the situation might be, take it lightly by simply smiling. Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress. Smile can
also boost your immune system. Laughter is likewise a powerful stress relief medicine and gives amazing health benefits based on research.

4. Be friendly – Being nice and friendly to everyone can create a wholesome workplace, an environment that will make you feel you belong and where trust and respect for others prevail.

5. Eat nutritious food – Take time to eat healthy and nutritious food no matter how busy you are at work. It will give you the energy to deal with stressful activities. Never skip meals and coffee breaks. Give yourself a break, away from your office desk and computer.

6. Get enough rest and sleep – When you lack sleep, your body goes into a state of stress. The body’s functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. Stress hormones also make it harder for you to sleep. Do not bring work to bed because this is the best time you can relax after a day’s hard work in the office.

7. Exercise – Do you want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Think no further than exercise. Regular exercise combats health conditions and diseases, controls weight, improves mood and boosts energy. Moreover, you may perform deep breathing exercises. Taking deep breaths and meditation can help you relax and reduce anxiety levels that cause stress.

8. Relax, spend quality time for yourself and family – Taking some time out like going to  the beach, watching a movie or just staying at home reading, praying, listening to music, preparing your favorite dish and enjoying the company of your family would be an effective
stress relief at work. Getting into sports and other activities that are not related to work is also one of the most effective work breathers.”

So relax. Enjoy your work life. Don’t worry and be happy. You can beat stress by doing any of the things we shared.


Jhoanna O. Gan-So is president of Businessmaker Academy and HR Club Philippines.  Her organization offers public seminars and in-house training on Human Resource Management and Business Skills Development.   You may email your comments and questions to: