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How To Beat Office Stress

Don't let work hassles keep you from being your mental and physical best

We know too much stress can cause major health drama, including heart disease, depression, headaches, overeating, and loss of sex drive. Fun, huh? Even mild stress makes it harder to get in a good workout. To help you balance today's treacherous times — in and out of the workplace — we've pulled together four easy stress-management survival tricks.

1.) TALK IT OUT
Fighting layoffs? A micro-managing supervisor? Just have too much to do? Feeling helpless can hit you, no matter what type of job you have or your rung on the ladder. To combat the problem, always make an effort to stay informed. Know as much as you can about what is going on above and below you, and keep both sides informed about you too. If you don't know what's going on in your boss's world, he probably has no idea what's really going on in yours, either.

2.) TAKE A BREAK
Nonstop work marathons actually hurt your productivity. Instead, take regularly scheduled breaks during the workday. Try a 10-minute stretch every hour. And stop eating lunch at your desk! You need a break away from your 8-by-8 world in order to recharge.

3.) REMEMBER: YOU'RE NOT PERFECT
Many of us brag about being a perfectionist — as if it's a good thing. Setting yourself up for such failure can send stress rocketing. Accept that you may not be able to do everything perfectly — but you can do everything correctly. Focus on doing that instead of being perfect, and everything else on your to-do list should fall into place.

4.) CUT THE CORD AFTER 5 P.M.
Too often we don't realize that our personal life can take a huge toll on our 9-to-5 life. If our personal life — social, physical, or emotional — is suffering, it will invariably poison the workday, since that's where most of us spend the majority of our time. Take care of your business at home and your stress levels should plummet. If they don't, the best stress relief may be a new job.

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