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Candidate Advice

Recovering from work stress and start the new year fresh

By Antal International

Hello everyone and welcome to our latest newsletter!

With 2023 approaching the end and a new year with new objectives coming, it's time to let go of all the stress and get energy for 2024. We all have periods when we feel work stress drains us of motivation, energy, or enthusiasm.

According to Harvard Business Review, around 43% of professionals feel high levels of stress at work, with many employees being at the edge of burnout. In this newsletter, we will discuss how to recover from work stress and regain your energy and motivation at work.


Recovering from stress

Are you feeling symptoms of exhaustion or anxiety? You need to work on your "recovery" ability. Mastering recovery is a skill, as it involves recognizing your emotional state and understanding when it's appropriate to implement stress relief techniques.

The skill of "recovery" is particularly essential in fields that demand working under pressure and entail intense concentration, where both physical and mental recovery are pivotal for maintaining peak performance.


The recovery paradox

Have you ever felt like you can't relax even though everything tells you to take a break and recover? Well, this is the "recovery" paradox: when most depleted, we're least likely to take restorative actions. 

In demanding work situations, we often extend work hours and reduce breaks, compromising nutrition, making it a negative cycle that drains us out of energy and motivation for relaxation or exercise, perpetuating exhaustion. Organizational cultures valuing little sleep or constant urgency worsen this cycle. To break free, learn what suits you and create a tailored recovery plan. Effective stress recovery isn't always intuitive; here are five insights from industry and research to guide you.


Detaching psychologically from work 

We all have a hobby or an activity we're interested in that helps us detach from work-related things. We accumulate stress during the workday and this is why, during the evening, we need to do an activity, far away from any device, to charge our batteries. You can try to paint, do a puzzle, maybe play some music and cook a nice dinner, go for a workout, or do a spa evening at home. Overall, detaching from work after 5-6 PM will enhance your performance and engagement.


Let's go for a coffee...


During your working hours, set an alarm every one, or two hours to take a short break to stretch, drink some water, or maybe go for a short walk. Forget the usual idea that recovery only kicks in after work or during those long vacations. Check this out: short, 10-minute micro-breaks right in the middle of your workday can surprisingly do wonders in tackling daily work stress and handling job demands.


What's your recovery style?

The CMO of the company learned the importance of choosing recovery activities wisely. While initially pressured into shared guitar lessons, they now embrace individual hobbies—gardening and partner's guitar—finding joy and quality time. Opting for recovery activities you truly enjoy matters, whether it's a group exercise class or weekend wellness events. A lack of choice can be counterproductive, as shown by studies on lunch breaks: engaging willingly aids stress recovery, while forced socializing or working lunches lead to day-end fatigue. So, be mindful of your break choices, seek autonomy from your manager, and allocate time for recovery activities that genuinely resonate with you.


Your environment matters the most!

Cultivating an environment that helps you recover is a key yet often overlooked factor. Forward-thinking companies integrate natural elements into the workplace, and research affirms the quick and positive impact of direct exposure to nature, like a brief park walk during your lunch break. Beyond immediate benefits, incorporating nature at work enhances overall well-being, curbing burnout. Transform your workplace into a rejuvenating space—utilize outdoor facilities, open windows for fresh air, take short walks during micro-breaks, or propose outdoor meetings. 

As we approach the year's end, let's bid farewell to stress and usher in a rejuvenated spirit for the upcoming year. Remember, your well-being is paramount, and by embracing mindful recovery strategies, you're not just recharging for a new beginning but ensuring sustained performance.

Read more here

Overcoming imposter syndrome on the entrepreneurial journey

Nurturing Mental Health: The Influence of Work and Strategies for Wellness

Mastering the Mind: How High Achievers Overcome Thought Traps and Anxiety

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