Does work stress you out?
Whilst some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can intervene with your performance and impact on your emotional health. It can also affect your home life and even determine success or failure in your job.
Stress isn’t always bad. A little bit of stress can help you stay focused, energetic and able to deal with new challenges in the workplace. But when stress exceeds your ability to cope it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to your mind and body as well as your job satisfaction. Here are some tips on beating workplace stress:
Reach out to others
Sometimes the best stress reducer is simply to share your stress with someone else. This could be someone close to you or a work colleague. The act of talking through what is stressing you out is a highly effective way of blowing off steam and regaining your sense of calm.
Build new satisfying relationships
If you are stressed and don’t feel you have anyone to turn to at work or at home- it may be time to build new friendships. Meet new people with common interests by joining a Club, taking evening classes or volunteering. As well as expanding your social network doing ‘different’ things can significantly reduce stress.
When you are totally focused on work it is easy to neglect your physical health. But when you are eating well and exercising you are stronger and more resilient to stress. Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean a total change of lifestyle. Even small things like walking home from work or bringing a healthy lunch in from home or treating yourself to a slap up meal once a week can lift your mood, increase your energy and make you feel more able to deal with things.
Be good – smoking and drinking are big no no’s
Smoking when you are feeling stressed may seem calming, but the truth is nicotine is a powerful stimulant and leads to higher and not lower levels of anxiety. It is okay to drink in moderation but whilst alcohol may seem like its reducing your worries too much can cause anxiety as it wears off and adversely affect your mood.
Get plenty of sleep
You may feel like you just don’t have the time to get a full night’s sleep. But skipping on sleep will affect your daytime productivity and ability to focus. The better rested you are, the better equipped you will be to tackle your job responsibilities and cope with workplace stress.
Develop good time management skills
When job and workplace stress threaten to overwhelm you it is important that you prioritise and organise your day in order to take control. All work and no play are a recipe for burnout. Try to balance your work and home life. Leave for work 10-15 minutes earlier, this can make the difference between frantically rushing around and having time to ease into your day. Take short breaks during the day to have coffee, take a walk or chat with a colleague. Establish healthy boundaries don’t feel pressurized to check your smartphone 24 hours a day a day have some ‘me’ time. Finally, don’t overcommit, prioritise tasks, delegate responsibilities and be willing to compromise.
Break bad habits
Many of us make job stress worse with negative thoughts and behaviour. Resist the urge to be a perfectionist, when you set unrealistic goals you are setting yourself up for a fall. Get rid of your negative thoughts, think positively about your work and avoid negative co-workers. Never try to control the uncontrollable, focus on what you can control such as the way you react to problems. Humour is a great way to relieve stress in the workplace, don’t be too serious. Finally, if your desk is a mess, sort it out, just knowing where everything is will cut your stress.
Have a proactive attitude
When you feel uncertain, helpless or out of control your stress levels will be at their highest. Talk to your boss about what is making you stressed. Happy employees are more productive so your employer will help you tackle workplace stress where possible. Clarify your job description with your boss, you may find that some of the jobs you are doing are not included in your job description and these duties can be given to others. Finally, when it all gets too much, book a holiday, even a week away will make a real difference.
Look for satisfaction in your job
Feeling bored or unsatisfied with how you spend most of the workday can cause high levels of stress. But for most of us, having a dream job that we find meaningful and rewarding is just that – a dream. Even if you are not in a position to look for another career that you love and feel passionate about – and most of us aren’t – you can still find purpose and joy in a job that you don’t love. Changing your attitude towards your job can also help you regain a sense of purpose and control.
In todays hectic world the workplace often seems like a rollercoaster. Long hours, tight deadlines and ever-increasing demands can leave you feeling worried, drained and overwhelmed, follow some of our tips and hopefully they will help you.