Work-related stress can get the best of all of us at times. Your phone rings every 5 minutes; your emails are constantly pinging; several people are trying to get hold of you on Slack; a co-worker calls you on Teams for an impromptu meeting. This type of lifestyle all the time is stressful enough to have anyone cracking at the seams.
Work stress has significant long-term health consequences ranging from mild illnesses such a contracting the flu or a cold more often than most people to potentially severe diseases such a heart disease or experiencing a stroke. Finding a job that doesn’t have a certain amount of stress attached in the 21st century is nearly impossible; therefore, a more realistic approach is adapting your mindset to deal with all stress levels. Learning effective coping strategy techniques to help reduce your stress levels at work can be significantly beneficial for you and your family, friends, and loved ones around you.
Experiencing work-related stress is unavoidable even if you adore the career you have. Therefore, we have created a list of 10 steps that can help you keep your work-related stress to an absolute minimum.
Be aware of how work-related stress affects you
This may sound simple, but it is highly underestimated. Write down precisely every time you feel stressed and what caused it. This will allow you to identify if you are reacting to a situation due to your current lifestyle or dealing with high-stress levels at work.
Long-term exposure to stress can take a considerable toll on your mental health as well as your body. Below we have listed typical signs of stress:
- Low energy
- Low self-esteem
- Loss of sex drive
- Frequent illness
- Digestive issues
- Rapid heart rate
- Changes in appetite
Start your day correctly
After rushing around catching a packed train or running around attempting to get the kids dressed and off to school and gulping down your coffee, you most likely would have already arrived at work severely stressed, and you haven’t even started work yet.
When you start the day off with good nutrition, a healthy breakfast, and a positive attitude, you may find that the stress of your job isn’t half as bad as it usually is.
Prioritize and organize
Feeling overwhelmed at work is never a good sign. A fantastic way to significantly reduce your stress levels is to learn how to handle stressful situations at your workplace by organizing and prioritizing. We have listed ways to go about this:
Clarify your goals
Before you can prioritize, you will need to set clear objectives. You will need to make sure you put the time to speak with your manager or supervisor to clarify your work-related goals.
Focus on a maximum of three projects
If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. You will need to organize your projects, so you are never working on more than three projects at once; therefore, you can manage your stress levels and produce high-quality work.
Make a to-do list
This is such a simple but effective practice. Ensure you know exactly what you need to get done in the day and that the amount of work is reachable. If you are still overwhelmed, you could use task management such as Mondays.com to ensure you keep a handle on your daily activities.
Interpersonal conflict can wreak havoc on your emotional and physical well-being. Conflict with co-workers creates a tense atmosphere for the entire workspace, which can be challenging to escape. It is always a good idea to avoid as much conflict as possible.
Standing up for yourself or speaking up on a project you disagree with is part of most of our jobs; however, ensure that your tone and wording are appropriate. Do not ever gossip within or out of the workplace; we would further advise you to share as limited amount of information as possible with any of your co-works on the following subjects:
- Medical opinions
- Parenting techniques
Get out of the office at lunch
Living a sedentary life can create both physical, emotional, and mental health issues. When it comes to lunchtime, eat your food, and then get out of the office. Go for a walk around the block, in the park, get some friends to go with you. Exercises does wonders for the body and your mental health. Breathe in some fresh air, and let go of work tensions for an hour or so.
Listen to music
There are numerous benefits when you listen to music either at work, at lunch, or on your way home from the office. It can be an effective stress reliever that allows you to let go or forget about the stress associated with your workplace.
Ensure you have uplifting songs with a creative beat to help you feel your best. Many individuals will listen to music before work to set them off in an optimistic mindset others while others listen to music on their way home to mentally escape so they don’t bring their work issues home. Give it a go and find out which method works best for you and your lifestyle.
Take care of yourself
When worry takes its toll on your body, it is easy to let the stress and negative feelings completely take over; therefore, you need to set time aside for self-care. This means taking time out to:
- Have fun with the family
- Go out with your friends
- Have a movie night
- Prepare a good cook, healthy meal
- Prioritize your sleep
- Just have some fun
- Take some time off work
Work does not control your life, and you should never feel overwhelmed or stressed every day. If you have been for an extended period, we would advise that you have a serious sit down with yourself and work out how to relieve some of the stress. This may mean that you speak with your manager to offload some work, prioritize specific projects, learn to say ‘No’ when your schedule is already full, or look for a new job. You need to put yourself first in life.
Not everyone who attends counseling has a mental health disorder. Feeling severely overwhelmed at work is an entirely valid reason to seek help to advise you on managing these stresses or how to go forward in life.
A therapist will work with you to identify the sources of your work-related stress and encourage you to work out how to navigate them better going forward while further taking care of yourself.