Stress and anxiety, two things that are no strangers to the workplace. Stress can cause an extremely negative impact on your work life if you are not careful. Almost half of today’s workforce claim they are “stressed” or have “too heavy of a workload”. There have been times where employees have turned down promotions, travel requests, lunches or parties, deadlines, managing staff, and presentations due to stress and anxiety – all of which could be completely avoided with the following tips.
DON’T IGNORE THE SIGNS
Do you dread waking up in the morning to go work? What about bringing your work issues home with you, leading to thinking more about your work than your family? Have you taken on too many projects, or are you always trying to keep up with what your boss asks? Once these signs become too much, it’s common to begin searching for a completely new job due to this pile up of stress and unhappiness. Letting these signs overpower your work life will only lead to longer hours and errors, or diminishing quality of work.
TIPS FOR MANAGING THE STRESS
Start by reaching out. Don’t be afraid to communicate these stresses with your employer. Remember: this is your choice, but really think this through, especially if you are in need of an accommodation. If you are uncomfortable with communicating with a direct supervisor or manager, seek out Human Resources. They keep all conversations confidential and monitor the situation if needed. While I typically do not recommend talking about a serious issue with co-workers, if something happens, it will be a good thing if someone in your workplace knows what is going on.
Prioritize and get organized. To plan and prepare, create a list of all of your obligations. To begin, it’s best to prioritize what obligations need to be completed first, and which of these obligations will take up the most of your time. Practicing good time management is essential in these situations. Don’t over commit! It is okay to say no! Creating a schedule and sticking to it to the best of your ability is the best way to be successful. Don’t forget to add rest time where the news, email, phone, and electronics are off. What has personally helped me is scheduling a random time, where if something pops up not on my schedule I’m not scrambling figuring out when to get it done.
Get active and review your diet. When you incorporate more exercise into your daily schedule, you will produce more endorphins. Physical activity will also improve your ability to sleep. Limiting caffeine and alcohol will help you keep focused on the day ahead. Specific foods such as asparagus, avocado, and other fruits and veggies have been known to help reduce stress- and they’re delicious!
Find your support system. It is extremely important to find comfort in the support system of your family and friends. With that being said, if you are bringing the stress from work home with you, this can create a hardship on your personal life. Your family and friends deserve to know what is going on so they can effectively help. Set boundaries and keep your work at work- there is no need to check your email or answer calls when you are off the clock! In addition, avoid those who are toxic, because they will eventually do nothing but bring you down.
Communicate to the MAX. Most of the time your boss does not know you are drowning in stress; if they did know they would, in most circumstances, be more than willing to help. Keeping the line of communication open will make or break your chances of making things better. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or assistance on any projects or assignments. Be sure to speak carefully and be specific in what you are saying. No one can read your mind, so you need to say less, and stay focused. When listening: don’t interrupt, listen with empathy, and receive criticism successfully. When responding to these criticisms, be honest, listen until you understand what is being said, check your interpretations, and make a conscious effort to hear the way you speak.
Admire your successes. Take a moment and celebrate your good work you have been putting in. You need to realize you have been working hard and deserve to treat yourself a little. Planning a vacation or even a day to yourself will give you that much needed rest, so that when you get back to work, you are ready to go.
Stress is hard on you- not only mentally, but physically. If you don’t get out in front of it, it will crush you. Reach out, communicate, and genuinely evaluate the situation you are in. If you are not happy and you know there is no turning back, then get out.