Don’t Let Work Stress Keep You Up at Night

Work stress is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Try these strategies during the day to avoid worrying about work at all hours of the night. Make a to-do list. The act of writing down uncompleted tasks allows you to put them out of your mind. You also might consider keeping a journal, where you write down your thoughts and feelings. Putting pen to paper can help you process emotions and reduce anxiety. Get some exercise. Physical activity — even a single instance — decreases rumination, which is often linked to insomnia. Or practice meditation. Researchers in the Netherlands found that even small amounts of mindful meditation (10 minutes before and after work for two weeks) helped calm racing minds and improved sleep quality and duration. Lastly, be easy on yourself. Self-compassion can often break the cycle of negative thoughts that keeps you up. Work stress may be inevitable at times, but these strategies can increase your ability to wake up feeling refreshed and able to tackle your biggest challenges.

This tip is adapted from “How to Stop Thinking About Work at 3am,” by Rebecca Zucker


Categories: Management and Career Tips

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