Does your office stress you out? And not just in the sense of insensitive superiors, deadlines, and nosey co-workers. What about your actual physical work environment? Are there days you can’t see your desk due to the amount of paper and clutter? Does it feel like someone is always checking your work over your shoulder? What about Linda two cubes over who won’t stop loudly complaining about her daily woes? No matter what’s getting you down, it’s still getting you down. And therefore, most likely affecting both your attitude and performance at work. Here are a few ways you can set yourself up for success by creating a stress-free office space!

De-Clutter and Get Organized

Say it with us: mess equals stress. For most of us, it can be extremely difficult to focus when you don’t know where your desk begins and your papers, business cards, mail, newsletters and post-it notes end. Not to mention, how much time are you wasting trying to find that one file hidden beneath piles and piles of clutter? Do yourself a favor and invest in an organizational system that works for you. Add shelves, storage, separators – whatever you need that can help you find whatever it is you may need for any given task your boss unexpectedly throws at you.

The same goes for your digital workspace as well. Clean up your inbox. Create a logical order to how you keep your documents and files. The worst thing is missing an important email or message with a new deadline or addition to a project. Keep yourself ahead of the curve and know you aren’t forgetting anything by keeping your work world in order.

Keep Yourself on Task and Invincible to Distraction

Do you sit near a literal Chatty Kathy? Or maybe have the unfortunate cubicle location next to the noisy elevator? Whatever distractions may cause you woe, learning how to cope with or even ignore them, you could significantly decrease your level of stress. Put up a sign that directly tells co-workers you don’t have time to chat. Invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones. There is no shame in setting boundaries in any aspect of your life – your workspace included!

Recommit to Your Communication Habits

Communication is seriously key. Poor communication can lead to confusion, unmet expectation, and other kinds of stress in the office. Unfortunately, communication is a team effort. If you’ve realized those around you aren’t communicating well, ask questions and make suggestions to help the situation.

Again, don’t be afraid to open lines of communication with those who give you stress at the office. Find an appropriate time to voice your concerns or frustrations and ask for compromised resolutions. If your coworkers are made aware of how their actions are affecting you (and most likely, others), they may be willing to change their behavior.

Redecorate with Your Own Personal Style

Your workspace doesn’t have to feel cold and corporate. An easy way to create a stress-free office space is to add personal touches or things that make you happy to your desk/cube. Plus, who doesn’t feel more inspired and productive after a little makeover? Try things like:

  • Adding your favorite photos
  • Artwork that lifts your mood
  • Fun desk accessories
  • Warm ambient lighting
  • Incorporating more relaxing colors like blue and green
  • Add all the plants
  • And/or a personal aromatherapy diffuser like this one
  • Invest in an ergonomic chair
  • Trinkets that have sentimental value or remind you of your passions

Incorporate Relaxation Exercises into Your Day

If you work straight through all eight+ hours of your day, you’re going to get burnt out really quickly. Not to mention stop producing quality work. Do your best to schedule a time to reset, relax, and take care of yourself throughout your workday. Take a real lunch break and get out of your office by going for a quick walk either before or after you eat. Play soft music, do some stretching, use a stress ball. You obviously won’t be able to get rid of every single stressor in your workplace but incorporating relaxation exercises during tense moments can make a world of a difference.

Let CPA Help You Create a Stress-Free Office Space!

Counseling can be a helpful tool to help you make mindfulness techniques and self-care a part of your daily life. Sharing your seasonal and chronic stressors with your therapist can help you both stay on the same page and keep you accountable in working towards your goals. If you’re worried about burnout, therapy and counseling are safe spaces where you can voice your concerns, develop coping and communication skills, and find the support you need.

Remember, therapy is hard work! It can feel extremely uncomfortable and even exhausting. Having a hand to hold and help guide you will only add to your personal success. Cristina Panaccione and Associates Counseling has two locations in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and one in the Robinson area. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients, so check out our videos to learn more about how we can help you create a stress-free work environment!

* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.

Marissa Betancourt

Marissa Betancourt has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. After her studies at Chatham University, she became a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has approximately 5 years of experience working with the dually diagnosed population. She works with people who experience depression, anxiety, mood disorders, personality disorders, and substance use. Marissa uses a mix of motivational interviewing, behavioral therapy, CBT, psycho-education, and gestalt therapy to assist clients with working towards their goals. She is transparent and assertive in the counseling process, helping clients gain insight into past and current behavior. Marissa looks forward to helping you understand your symptoms and working through them at your own pace!


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