Work can be very stressful. Whether it’s your business or working for someone else, at some point in time there’s going to be work-related stress. Any job can have some stressful elements to it, regardless of the work you do or how much you love it. This could be something such as feeling pressure to meet some deadlines, feeling too much pressure from expectations, or even struggling to find a way to overcome a hurdle. Whatever it may be, the stress that occurs is going to be harmful to your mind, body, and spirit. Stress is known to be a huge factor when it comes to physical and mental health and a lot of it can come from work. While you can’t always avoid tensions at work, there are ways to manage them.
Some of the common sources from work-related stress
There are many factors when it comes to the cause of stress, these are some of the more common workplace stressors:
- Low salaries
- Bad work environment
- Toxic coworkers or boss
- Conflicting demands
- Lack of engagement
- No opportunity for growth
- Lack of work-life balance
- Excessive workload
- Long commutes
- Lack of social support
- Disinterested in the work or industry
How to manage the stress
There are thankfully multiple ways to manage stress at work. While it’s not entirely simple to deal with work-related stress, and it’s not as easy as the stress just melting away the second you get home from work, it’s important to know you have options and there are ways to manage this. As stated earlier, too much stress can have long-lasting effects such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease, and so much more. These are some stress management techniques that you can try in hopes of coping with work stress.
With the pandemic, there’s been an expectation that you must be around 24/7. Just because you have a phone and an internet connection at home shouldn’t mean that you need to respond immediately to your coworkers, clients, and boss. You need to have work-life boundaries for yourself or else this is only going to cause more stress and burnout. Setting boundaries is very important and there are several ways to do this.
Don’t check emails in the evening, don’t answer work-related phone calls once you leave work, be firm to your coworkers and everyone else that you’re not going to work off-the-clock. While everyone has their own preferences of what work and life balance is, you need to find out what your boundaries are and make them very clear. Lack of boundaries only means that work-life conflicts are only going to make the stress increase.
Learn how to relax
Do you work during your lunch breaks? What about your mandatory 15-minute break? Work during your off time isn’t good, and this is only going to increase your stress. You need to learn how to relax. Meditation has been proving to help when it comes to managing stress. This can be something to start in the mornings or even the evenings after work. If meditation isn’t your thing, there are other ways to just relax. During your breaks, just try and unwind. Allow yourself to have the chance to chat with coworkers, text your family, or even read a book. If you’re home, allow yourself to unwind there as well. This can include exercising, trying out breathing exercises, going for a walk, spending time with friends or family, doing hobbies, or even just going for a walk outside your home.
Find a better response
Some people will turn to food, substances, alcohol, video games, or other things to make them feel good when they’re stressed. These don’t make the stress disappear, they only push it off temporarily. It’s better to find healthy ways to deal with and respond to stress. Healthy choices are going to help with tension, not make it work. Many people will choose exercising and sports as a way to release their pent-up stress and anger. Physical activity is very beneficial to both the body and the mind.
Participating in hobbies is another way to respond to stress. This could include painting, reading, gardening, going out with friends, concerts, and so much more. Setting up time for you to have pleasure is going to bring you a better quality of life. This is also going to allow you to have better sleep at night and it gives you something to look forward to as well. Overall, being active in some form and not trying to push off these feelings of stress are going to help out a lot in the long run with your mental and physical health.
Talk with your boss or supervisor
Your workplace needs to provide a healthy space for its employees. Happy employees lead to more productivity. Try to have a sit down with your boss or whoever is overseeing you. You don’t need to have a long list of complaints or demands. Instead tell them what has been stressing you out, and how it’s been affecting your performance. You want to do the best at your job, and any good boss will be understanding of this. Give some clarifications on what you would like, what you think you need, what would be the best approach to the situation, and then ask their thoughts on it.
A lot of good employers are going to want to help you out. This could be changing your department, giving you more training or resources, helping out with identifying employee- wellness resources or even assisting in the more challenging tasks you’ve been facing. It’s important that you feel comfortable at work, but it’s also very important that your employer does something about the situation that you’re in.
Support can come in many ways such as turning to a loved one. Some employers offer stress management resources such as counseling or therapy. If work is making you feel too overwhelmed, it will be best to see someone about this soon.
Take a vacation
For some people, getting that recharge from being on holiday is a great way to get back on track once they begin work again. Whether you decide to just relax at home, get around to doing things you haven’t had time for, or even just travel around, this is going to help you out a lot. This can be a great detox for women to try out. Just getting to reset your mind and body from the daily repetitions of work can have a great effect. However, taking a vacation may not be so simple for some. While vacationing is a great option, some bosses simply won’t allow their employees to have a vacation. While in the US the average amount of vacation days is 10 days, it’s not mandatory or the law.
Know when to quit
This may not be a great tip, but sometimes it’s just best to break away and start anew. Some offices are forever going to be toxic, the work is always going to be the same. You only get one life, are you sure you want to spend half of it just working for an employer that doesn’t care about you? It’s best to just quit and recharge, or find a new job while you’re still working at the other one. This is all going to help out a lot. If you own your own business, ask yourself what is causing the stress. Is it a client? Sometimes clients can be just as stressful if not more stressful than a horrible boss. Know when to break it off with a client, sometimes no amount of money is worth risking your health.