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4 Tricks to Reduce Stress at Work (Even When You're Irritable)

reduce stress at work

Picture this: you’re out there trying to reduce stress, crushing business life, and BAM someone leaves a nasty comment on your social media account, making you feel so frustrated all you want to do is cry and yell at the person.

Then you spend hours worrying about it (and wasting time).

Add this to the list of things stealing your zen: your team dropping the ball on a project, your husband leaving dirty dishes in the sink again, or the calendar creeping its way toward your period.

We’re all human and despite our concerted efforts to rise above the drama, some things pierce their way through like when Becky laughed at your favorite sweater with the rest of the mean girls in high school.

How you handle your emotions has an impact on your business and your health. The goal here is to acknowledge your emotions, realize what’s causing the frustration, and consciously choose your next steps.

Your four best tricks to reduce stress at work:

1: Check your cycle

First things first: take out your calendar or period app and check where you are in your cycle. Just as our hormones shift throughout the month, so too can our emotions.

We become less resilient to stress the week before and during our period. So any irritability or frustration could really be a sign that you need to slow down and take a break. Knowing where you’re at in your cycle can help you see the situation more clearly.

If you’re at a time of the month where you’re a bit more sensitive, release yourself from overwhelm and take a break! Go for a walk. Do a short meditation to calm your energy. Or call a friend who actually likes your sweaters.

2: Evaluate your caffeine consumption

Caffeine can make us feel more agitated than we actually are. It sparks our adrenal glands which releases cortisol, one of our stress hormones.

Our stress hormones put our body in an elevated state, preparing us to fend off any sort of threat – even if it’s just an aggravating social media comment.

Caffeine is also a diuretic which flushes out magnesium, a mineral we need to feel calm.

Becoming aware of how much caffeine you consume, or questioning if you really need it to stay alert, can help you feel calmer so you make decisions more effectively.

3: Focus on the big picture

In the heat of the moment, ask yourself if the issue is really going to matter in an hour or two. Chances are it won’t. (Nobody reads social media comments anymore anyway…right?)

It’s so important to listen to our bodies and take a break, even if it’s just a deep breath. Stepping away focuses our mind on the big picture, not ephemeral details.

4: Ask for help

Usually, overwhelm is caused by having too much on our plate.

Ask your team for help. Welcome your support group into the conversation and ask them how they’d deal. It can be really beneficial to gain an outside perspective.

If you recognize your emotions are related to your cycle, consider talking openly to your team about what’s going on. It’s typically been a taboo topic, but changing the stigma starts with us educating ourselves and others about how women are different. The insight to how our minds and bodies shift is invaluable to directing what we need.

These conversations could be as simple as “hey, I’m working on improving my health and syncing my habits to my monthly cycle. I’m at the part of the month where I need to slow down a bit. Are you able to help me this week on the XYZ project?” or “I’m going to need more quiet space this week, can we push our meeting?”.  Be prepared for follow up conversations because this is a burgeoning topic.

It’s important for business owners to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. This includes our emotions. The more tricks we have up our sleeve to redirect our energy, the faster we can let go of hurt feelings, stress, and get back to the fierce Bombshells we are! Eat that, Becky.

*originally posted on


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