Many of the clients for whom I run our Pressure to Performance course, report that the pressures they are under include shortness of time to complete tasks, tight deadlines, too much to do in too little time, changes in organisational structure, ambiguity and intra-personal stresses, among many others.
Physicality is really important for managing pressure at work and as part of this we look at how people really relax – watching TV, sleeping and drinking alcohol are commonly cited ways; however these tend to switch off the mind and certainly alcohol is a muscle relaxant. A much more effective way is to doing practical things – cooking, rock climbing, playing the piano, gardening, playing squash; it doesn’t particularly matter what activity but there are critical factors in all of these:
Mostly manual – using the hands focusses the mind and body together, in a way that sitting at a desk all day may not.
Concentrated – do you ever find that when you have been concentrating hard on an activity then your mind clears and you feel energised and refreshed afterwards – unlike say watching telly.
Creative – the act of creating, building, practicing and achieving goals build good emotions attached to the activities and reinforce your ability to deal with challenges in the future.
Yoga could be a fantastic way to balance stress at work, but find your personal favourite way of doing this and then make sure that you set aside time to do it.