Tips to manage stress in the workplace
Everybody has felt some pressure of work stress at some point in work life. Studies show that any job can have some stressful portions for its workers even if they love to do their jobs. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) showed that work is the number one source of stress in the majority of Americans. Stressing elements range from strict deadlines to challenging responsibilities. It can also come from irritable co-work environments. The enduring stress at the workplace can be devastating for both physical and mental health.
To understand the situation of work stress, imagine a prominent web development project comes into the company. Suddenly, it becomes the priority work for all the employees there. Work takeover all the routine life of the developers leaving personal work on the verge. Working hours upsurge, sleep hours shrink, and work communications come in the home by responding to emails all the time. The scenario will result in work stress.
Stressful times at the workplace are unavoidable, but at least they can be manageable. If you do not control your work stress in the short term, it can lead to some severe problems such as fatigue and burnout in the long term. Apart from that, work stress may also cause anxiety, irritable behaviour, depression, sleeping problems, and trouble concentration. Moreover, it can also develop stomach and muscle problems.
Either you love your job or not, but creating a balance between work and personal life is essential for physical and mental wellbeing. Moreover, it is also crucial for your work, as the studies show that happy and satisfied employees are more productive. So, maintaining a stable lifestyle with equal importance to your work and your loved ones assure the quality of life and work at a time.
Some common sources of work stress
Before you start coping with work stress, you need to understand its origin. Work stress can come from several sources. For instance, not enough finances, low paid jobs grow the anxiety and feelings of unappreciation among the employees. Excessive workloads during some urgent projects lead to disturbing the routines of employees. Lack of growth opportunities lowers the motivation of the workers and generates stress. Sometimes, the tedious work leads to mental detachment for the employees, and they start losing attention to their work. This kind of scenario also gives birth to some stress and psychological pressure. The work stress can also originate from the lack of social and management support. Like in case, if a contributor to a project does not have control over its project-related decisions, then this will hurt his mind. Too many demands and impracticable performance expectations from the employer may also lead to grieving consequences on the mental health of the workers.
Manage your work stress
These techniques will help you to control work stress during miserable work periods.
Welcome humour. A good laugh goes a long way. Probably my most used coping mechanism. I’m lucky enough that the people I work with also like to clown around when things are stressful. Having a circle of people around you that you can laugh and chat to is usually one of the best cures for me always.
Keep a record of your stress to identify the source or origin of it. Write down your thoughts, moods and the related environment for a week or two. Also, note down the physical setting of the surroundings in which you feel uncomfortable. These exercises will allow you to track your stressors.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Create your sleeping and wake-up patterns. Setting up a morning routine will increase your productivity in the day. Moreover, meditating and light morning exercise can boost your mood throughout the day. Exercises or any physical activity is helpful in stress.
What you consume has a direct effect on your mental health. Skipping meals won’t make you more productive, you will lose energy faster. Try to choose healthy food over fast food and alcohol.
Set the time for your night sleep and follow it strictly to develop some sleep patterns. Good quality sleep is essential for your mental health and as well as for your quality activities during the daytime. You can grow healthy and uninterrupted sleep habits by lowering your caffeine intake and by limiting stimulating activities like talking or watching television.
Try to clear your mind by taking some time to recharge after every few days. When you feel like you have handed over your life for work, get a break. Designate an uninterrupted time for yourself, and it will help you in maintaining your mood. Try to visit some parks or peaceful places. Switching off from work for a while is a kind of recovery process for your mind. So, it is vital to disengage from your work sometimes. In case of busy schedules or during some critical projects, take a quick boost by turning off the laptop and focusing on pleasurable activities.
Try to be open up with your boss and higher management. Employee’s health has a vital role in the productivity and creativity of the work. Identify the stressor in your work environment and mention it to your boss along with an effective plan to overcome it. Clear your goals and let the higher management know that to what extent they can expect from you. Some people happily accept additional challenges to grow their skills and experience. In those cases, employees must talk to their supervisors to have a flexible time frame. Supervisor and employees, both must know the potential hurdles which can arise during the projects and which may take extra time to overcome. In other words, both should be on the same page to avoid any inconvenience or stressors.
Sometimes the best way to cope with your stress is to share it with someone. Talking usually lowers down the symptoms of stress and anxiety. In case you don’t feel good at work, it is best to take some help from your close friends and family members. Your organisation or employer may also offer you some resources to handle your work stress. These resources could be on-site counselling or a referral to a mental health session. Just make sure to avail them on time. There are even online options if you need to speak with someone in a hurry or can’t find time in your schedule. Don’t ever feel like you have to suffer in isolation.