5 ways to help yourself feel less stressed at work

Stress and work go hand in hand. The only job in the world with zero stress is that of a tai tai, and even then, there must be some hand-wringing involved in selecting those OOTDs.

For most of us, the stress of working day in, day out can get overwhelming, especially when you're sleep-deprived and your boss is bringing his personal problems to the office.

In fact, workplace stress in Singapore is on the rise, and even more scarily, employee stress has been cited as the top health issue plaguing companies here.

In order to stay sane, it helps to have hacks that help you de-stress in a jiffy. Here are some suggestions to help you get through the work day with your hair intact.

Take a walk outside the office

If you spend 8 hours or more per day hunched behind cubicle walls, it is totally normally to feel antsy and stressed out at the end of the day.

Get a breath of fresh air (well, unless it's haze season) by taking a walk in the middle of every work day, whether at lunchtime or, if you have the time, in the middle of the morning or afternoon.

Those who work in the Raffles Place or Tanjong Pagar area are lucky because the CBD is filled with rather interesting and/or cultural sights, such as the Telok Ayer shophouses, the riverfront and a smattering of temples.

Explore a different area every day and really get to know the area, and you might find that the mere sight of Raffles Place MRT no longer causes you to break out in a cold sweat.

Surround yourself with healthy comfort snacks

If you're the kind of person who takes comfort in stuffing your face, surrounding yourself with stacks and victuals can take a bit of the sting out of the work day.

But here's the catch-make sure the snacks you bring to the office are healthy, otherwise you'll go home feeling gross, bloated and guilty.

Some examples of healthy snacks and drinks include almonds, fruit, your mum/spouse's homemade soup, homemade muesli, herbal tea and honey as a sweetener.

When the world seems against you and you think you're about to strangle your boss, take some timeout and brew yourself a cup of ginger tea.

Wherever possible, steer clear of processed or sugary foods such as flavoured yoghurt or cereal bars, since the sugar will make you gain weight and cause spikes in energy.

Get some exercise

Never underestimate the endorphin-producing benefits of exercise, which can be overwhelmingly beneficial for those suffering from a case of the blues, which is basically all of us on a Monday. Not sure when to exercise?

If you can't commit to a before- or after-work routine, do it during lunchtime.

And no, you don't need to fork out the cash for an expensive gym/MMA/bootcamp/CrossFit membership to exercise during work.

Go for a run, grab a mat and do some yoga postures in a quiet outdoor area, or challenge a colleague to a game of ping pong on the meeting room table.

Find a safe space

Colleagues (of the non-backstabbing variety) are nice to have around, but sometimes you just need time to yourself.

Find a safe space near your office you can retreat to when you really need some downtime. Check if your office building has a secret rooftop garden you don't know about, otherwise scan the area around your workplace for a secluded park bench.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed with stress, escape to your safe space for a short while, and return when you've exorcised your demons.

Those working at Raffles Place will find themselves in relative solitude at the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade, as everyone else is cowering indoors away from the heat during lunchtime.

Working on the Tanjong Pagar side? Take a walk at Ann Siang Hill or duck into Thian Hock Keng Temple on Telok Ayer Street to escape the crowds.

Make plans after work

Unless you love your work so much that it's your sole reason for being, it's impossible to motivate yourself if you have nothing to look forward to outside of the office.

Feel like you lack a purpose in life outside of your role as an economic unit? Then make plans after work.

Explore your interests by taking classes and indulging in your hobbies, spend time with friends and family and, if you don't have enough, engage in activities that will help you to meet new people.

More importantly, schedule your after-work activities so you always have something to look forward to. When you have dinner with a friend at 7pm, you're more likely to work efficiently so you can leave the office on time.