How emotionally healthy is your workplace? What about your working practices? Here’s a quick checklist.

1. Breathe

Breathe. In… aaand… out. Place your awareness on your breath. Take your time. Anytime you feel your pulse or stress levels rising, it’s a simple tool to calm things down. You can even doing while pretending to read the company news or something.

2. Work your hours

Your contract may stipulate 8 hours per day. Working 10 doesn’t make you a better employee. It suggests you’re trying too hard to prove your worth. Work your hours. Be flexible. If there’s a crisis, stay and fix it. Just don’t make a habit of it.

3. Don’t be a martyr

Stockpiling work and then moaning about it? Don’t. Instead, have a constructive conversation with your line manager. Over time your workload should match your job description fairly accurately.

4. Look up

It’s easy to spend all day with one’s head buried in a computer screen or whatever is in front of us. Look up. There is a world out there. There is light. Notice it. Let your eyes adjust to it before diving back in.

5. Stay hydrated

It’s also easy to keep glugging down coffee, especially if the bad habits mount up. Go for water instead.

6. Take a break

Your job spec allows you to take breaks for the very good reason that they are good for both you and your productivity. Take them.

7. Go to the lunchroom

Do you eat your lunch at your desk while working? Yes, I do too. It’s a habit I need to break.

8. Get some fresh air

Going for a walk is even better than the lunchroom. Exercise, fresh air, open sky. Break up the day with a decent walk. Your afternoon will go better.

9. Everyone is on your side

Really, they are. It may seem hard to believe but you all work for the same organisation and you’re all trying to get whatever it is to succeed. So don’t dismiss your co-workers as the grandest cretins that ever lived just because of some trivial incident. They’re stressed too.

10. Be compassionate

They may be heavily stressed. You never know who may be dealing with a major health issue, family tragedy or whatever. As much as you can, be compassionate. While you’re at it, be compassionate towards yourself.

11. Bullying is verboten

Verboten is such an inflexible word. There are no ifs, buts or maybes about it. It’s the word we need here. No one from the CEO down is permitted to be emotionally abusive. If they are, call them out. If it’s you, call yourself out.

12. Get help

If you’ve ticked all the items above and you’re still feeling stressed, ask for help. When your plumbing leaks, ask a plumber. When your car rattles, ask a mechanic. If you feel stressed at work, ask your Human Resources team.

Value yourself. That’s the bottom line. Value yourself and your organisation will value you.

Image: Zoning at the office by Simon Law on Flickr

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.