‘’For fast acting relief, try slowing down’’ – Lily Tomlin
There are those who work when they want and how they wish. They have no regular schedules and are not limited to certain timelines and dress codes. These often comprise of self employed individuals, traders and craftsmen. The freedom to operate itself shields such people from what is popular in business circles as ‘’stress’’. There are also a certain group of people, usually the elite who have a rigid 8am to 5pm schedule with specific dress codes and timelines. In this group you will find bankers, insurance brokers, ecommerce experts etc. There is not much freedom here with super high targets and many restrictions.It is very normal for this set of people to experience high levels of stress. With these come stress-related diseases, nervous breakdowns and frequent loss of concentration. To help corporate workers escape stress, Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online travel website highlights a few fun ways.
Family vacation – Once a while, take a week or two to go on a much needed break. In employment terms, we call it ‘’leave’’. Yes! I just reminded you that it’s been almost 5 years and you have never missed a day in the office. There are some of you who have even lost track of how many leave days you have left. Never feel too important to take a break. Ensure you have someone trained to step into your role for a few weeks. You need that time away from work. What can you do once that leave is approved? Go on a family vacation with your wife and children if you have them If not, there is nothing wrong with single travel. Go a little far away from all the noise and stress of your current location. Do something new and experience a new environment. Come back fresh and relaxed for another long haul ahead.
Team building exercises – Often, we fail to participate in such programs at work. Either we feel too old or too ‘’big’’ to play games and laugh with everyone else. The few hours away from work feeling like a 6 year old is an amazing way to take some of the stress off. A well organized team building exercise has everything from interaction to games. From foods and drinks to acknowledgements and recognition. These even have the tendencies of patching up fractured relationships and pulling others closer together. Try to be involved in activities and you will be overwhelmed how fresh you will feel on monday morning.
Socialization – Back and neck pains! That’s what you get when you sit at the same place from Monday to Friday (Sometimes Saturdays inclusive) doing virtually the same thing for prolonged periods without a break. Why not get up from that seat, walk around and say hello to Mr.X or Madam Y? You can even write pleasant things about some of your colleagues, words of motivation or nice little pieces of advice. Drop them on their desks when they step away for meetings or for lunch. Get to know people personally by taking 5 minutes each day to ask about one person’s life. Family, likes, hobbies, ambitions etc can be good conversational points. Don’t be seen as too forward but also don’t be too reserved at work. Be sociable and that will help you kill stress quicker.
Excursions – This is probably a rarity in many corporate environments these days. Work schedule has become too tight that setting aside a full day to have everyone away from work completely is almost impossible. Set up a small committee in your office to take care of planning and organization. Set a great date when most employees don’t have busy schedules or engagements. Best available dates are usually public holidays and saturdays. Plan a great trip to a tourist destination or two. Usually, a trip to a historic site with wide space for a picnic is a good idea. The fun in the bus, music, dance and euphoria makes you forget about work for at least a few hours. Whatever pressure you may have been feeling prior to this trip may be extinguished for a few hours. You get to kill two birds with one stone here. You first de-stress and also get to learn something new by being a tourist in your own country.
Projects – Another great way to escape stress is to do a project which is not related to your scope of work. Usually a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is recommended. A community clean up, orphanage donation, blood donation etc can be great ideas to look at. This helps you get away from work while doing great service to your community at the same time. Play active roles in this project and you will find it very fulfilling. It’s always great to help others but even better when you end up feeling refreshed.
These are not be boxed ideas therefore you are at liberty to massage them to suit your taste and schedule. In the end, the main objective is to end up distressed and not choke or attract stress related diseases in an attempt to be productive. You can be a great corporate employee by taking time to escape from stress. Feel fresh and relaxed to forge ahead and do more.
Credit: Benett Otoo, Jumia Travel