10 Ways To Reduce Workplace Stress In The Food Industry

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

10 Ways To Reduce Workplace Stress In The Food Industry

Everyone in the food industry that I know is stressed — busy, happy (and meaningfully) stressed. This can be a blessing and a curse. It means that there’s lots to be done, with great opportunities to make change in your company and affect the food industry for the better… but there’s still LOTS to be done.

When our plates are overwhelmed with work, were often overly stressed as well.

If you’re in the food industry, here’s 10 ways that you can take a load off and reduce your stress — without losing your edge — in your job.


Have Limits

The truth is that there is simply not enough time to do everything that we’re asked to do. We need to accept that we can’t do it all.

My ever-growing to-do list include hundreds of tasks, and no matter how much I get done this list only seems to get larger. Most people I know feel this way, and we all need to graciously accept that we can’t do it all.

To Do List

We can, however, do what’s most important in our jobs. To be able to do this, we must learn to say “no” to tasks that are not a top priority, or assign these tasks to others on our team.

Begin the process of “de-cluttering” these tasks from your plate (and prevent new ones from being added) by simply saying, “no”. This will be a step in the right direction when it comes to reducing your stress — and should help you feel a lot better, fast.



Nix Perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist? Working with (and being) a perfectionist is a double-edged sword.

Perfectionists are often the people that can do the best work — they set their internal bar high to make sure that they always do their best. On the other hand, they are often the people that either don’t complete tasks (because they’re not perfect yet) or if they do complete their work, they are mentally burnt out, and get short or frustrated with co-workers and/or customers.

For perfectionists in particular, sometimes the best thing in a world of people always telling you to “give it your all” or “do it 110%” is to simply not — sometimes giving it 90% of your best effort is good enough (as painful as that might sound), if it enables you to stay mentally balanced, happy and motivated in your life overall. This is, of course, more applicable to perfectionists that constantly drive themselves to do more, better all the time to an unrealistic point.

Take a few moments to evaluate your goals. Are they realistic? Does something need to change? Do you need more resources? Can you delegate some part of your job? Are there areas where you might be able to compromise — even a little?



Organize Your Time

Often tasks take longer than we might think, and we reach the 5pm saying, “Where did the day go?”

Understanding how much time each task really takes and organizing our day in a way that allows us to get the important things done is the key. This also takes understanding when our personal most productive times are, and when they definitely aren’t.

If you’re a morning person, shut off any email and work on your big projects in the AM. If you hit your stride after lunch, save your projects for then.

If you don’t know when your most productive time of the day is, the general rule is to get the hardest, longest tasks done early in the morning and complete the little tasks (including responding to emails!) until later in the day.



Stay Focused

When you multi-task, it may seem like you are getting more work done, but it often actually leads to lower quality work and that frazzled feeling that comes from splitting your attention.

It’s much better to focus in on one task at a time: sign out of your email, shut your office door, and turn off the phone until you’re done with your larger more challenging tasks.



Optimize Your Environment

Organic Office Space

Your environment inspires your work habits. Being your most productive work self requires that you spend your day in an office that is clean, organized and inspires you to work.

Take a look around your office — what could you do to improve the space? Do you need better lighting? Is it too noisy? Do you have furniture or equipment that needs to be replaced?

On a different note, make sure that your environment is clear of any negative vibes that may be brought in by co-workers. Surround yourself with the co-workers who are professional and a positive outlook on life, and stay out of any office gossip or interpersonal conflict.



Move Around

Movement is an excellent stress reliever. While working, try to avoid sitting at your desk for long stretches at a time. Take time to stretch, stand or walk around your office at regular intervals during the day. 

You can also try some popular alternatives to avoid being stagnant: 

  • Suggest walking meetings to your team in lieu of traditional meetings around a conference table.
  • Set up a standing or walking desk in place your your standard sitting desk.
  • Join the manufacturing or operations team to get a new perspective on your role (and theirs) and help out for a bit


Standing At Desk



Have Good Nutrition

A proper diet will go a long way to reducing your stress levels. Often, when we are stressed, we eat junk food to comfort ourselves. Be aware of the food you are putting in your mouth and the reasons you are eating it. Are you eating because you are hungry, bored or sad?

Drink plenty of water, and cut back on caffeine and alcohol. Avoid vending machine and drive-thru meals, and try not to multi-task while eating. Focus on your food.



Sleep Deeply

Quite often, when we are stressed, we lie awake at night worrying. It's important to get enough sleep, as this is the time your body uses to repair itself. 

Don't use alcohol as a nightcap — this can make sleep patterns worse. Instead, adjust your habits so that you give yourself time to unwind before you go to bed. 

Put the phone and laptop away and use relaxation techniques (like meditation, reading or sleepytime tea) to ease yourself to sleep.



Figure Out A Way To RELAAXXXX

With any high-stress job, it’s important to incorporate relaxation in on a daily basis. A great start would be do some relaxing activities: take a bath, go for an evening walk in the woods, read or drink some tea. 

If you wanted to take it to the next level, try more intensive relaxation techniques. Some examples include progressive muscular relaxation, in which a person focuses on tensing and relaxing each of the major muscle groups, and deep breathing, in which a person takes a deep abdominal breath, holds it for 3-5 seconds, and then slowly releases it. 

If you are really stressed, I’d try some “high octane” relaxation techniques like meditation (yes, I get the irony of that sentence). I was a skeptic of meditation for a long time, but I can tell you from experience that it really works. If you’re not comfortable with the idea, I’d suggest reading 10% Happier, the story of a newscaster Dan Harris (who was extremely skeptic about meditating as well), on his 10 year journey from an on-air panic attack to a lifelong practice of meditation.


Keep Your Sense Of Humor

Lastly, you’ve got to stay happy on the inside. Do what makes you feel “lighter”.

Laugh. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at your situation. Laugh at funny animal videos on the Internet. Whatever it might be, find that one thing that never fails to put a smile on your face and guffaw, chuckle, or chortle your stress away — at least for a moment.


Information Source

Topics: Business & Leadership



Related Articles

Download The eBook - All About Olive Oil

Enter your email below to get commodity market updates & cost-saving tips for procurement professionals.






Buy & Ship Direct From Our Online Store

Select an item below to see live pricing (LTL quotes included at checkout).



Now you can order direct from our website, without ever talking to a salesperson.  We've created this new industry-leading online storefront which makes the bulk oil buying process so much easier!

  • See live price quotes for oils online
  • Shipping costs are auto-calculated at checkout
  • Buy single drums, partial pallets or full pallets
  • Pay with a credit card
  • Ships from Centra Foods within 1-3 business days