Stress – it visits all the desks in an office, sometimes stays briefly and other times refuses to leave!
Most jobs create some level of stress for the employees within an organisation because this kind of stress is also needed to get the work running. It wouldn’t be the same if everything was relaxed with nothing getting done.
But at the same, when this kind of stress or tension is prolonged, it leads to what we call as ‘work stress’. Work stress is when you experience a difference in what you can do and what is given to you to do. In simpler terms, you are overloaded beyond what you are required or capable of doing. Work stress tops the list in the biggest threats of workplace health.
Long nights, tight deadlines, endless travel, less sleep, and constant fatigue. This is where your work stress will start to affect you and your life.
So, why does this work stress occur? What happens? What do you do?
Let’s see when work stress is created
● More overtime due to staff cutbacks or extra projects
● Pressure to meet rising expectations
● Pressure to work at optimum levels—all the time!
● Lack of control over how you do your work
● A poor physical working environment
● Excessively high workloads
● Insufficient workloads
● Bullying or harassment
● Weak management.
● Fear of being fired
Under these conditions, individuals get affected in various ways
● Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
● Loss of interest in work
● Problems sleeping
● Trouble concentrating
● Muscle tension or headaches
● Stomach problems
● Social withdrawal
● Using alcohol or drugs to cope
We have a few tips in managing and overcoming work stress!
Talk to someone face to face
You have probably had a long day at work, sitting in front of the computer, maybe with heaps of papers or in a conference room discussing. At the end of the day find someone who will talk to you and have a conversation. Iit could be about anything. It could be you venting off about work stress or endlessly ranting about all the extra work you are being given. And it could be anyone, a colleague, a friend or family. This is a great work stress management tip and will help you calm down.
Face to face interactions will help you to share your burden with someone else and make you feel lighter.
Exercise and let off steam
Exercise! Maybe this sounds like a joke to you. After a long day at work, we can barely stand straight, who has enough energy for an exercise session, right? It sounds unreal but it’s one of the best ways to manage work stress. Take a minimum of 30 mins for yourself to take a walk, workout in your comfort zone or better yet practice yoga!
This helps you increase your energy and also increases your concentration. Even while you are working, take a few minutes out and walk away from your desk and stretch those muscles!
Also eat right! Avoid sugar, carbs, and junk food. These crash your mood rather than lifting it up. Avoid smoking and alcohol. Although they do seem to be relaxing you, they end up increasing your anxiety levels instead.
Get enough sleep
Never give up or compensate on your sleep. Lack of sleep interferes with your daytime productivity, creativity, problem-solving skills, and ability to focus. The better rested you are, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle your job responsibilities and manage workplace stress.
Avoid staying up with any electronic gadgets, it leads to disrupted sleep. Try to finish all your work or entertainment at the earliest for your eyes to rest.
If you are someone that works on shifts, then adjust your timing in such a way that you sleep for at least 6 hours. Eliminate any sort of obstacle to your sleep.
This is probably one of the top causes of work stress. Organizing and prioritizing the work should be the first step in the management of work stress and to eventually lead a work-stress-free life. It is a bit tricky, not everyone is good at this but if you try, it’s doable.
Prioritize the most important work earlier in the day when you are much more focused. Delegate work if it’s something you don’t have to do it yourself and don’t overdo beyond your capacity. Always clarify your work duties.
Make a to-do list for the day, and mark on your calendars to make sure you have everything done in time.
In the end don’t forget to plan your breaks, for you to be able to re-energise you must take regular breaks. It could be in the form of reading a good article or listening to some music. This can help you to be more productive.
Don’t constantly look at the negative side of things. Try to look at your work and workplace more positively. Acknowledge the work you do, feel good about small accomplishments and don’t beat yourself up too much for not being able to adjust to people or the work.
Sometimes there will be behaviour of certain people that cannot be changed and you cannot be blamed. Set realistic goals because you don’t have to be a perfectionist in everything. Take an assignment you know you can do and then do it perfectly well!
Take a break
Remember the days in school, when you would take a leave just for the sake of it? We know it’s not as simple and easy to pull that off now, given all the responsibilities. But if you can finish all your projects by the given deadline and can procure some free time, apply for a holiday to just relax or refresh by taking a trip, cooking something new or reliving your college days and binge watching movies and web series! We know this may be the most fun tip for work stress management, but try to not over do it.
Work stress is a real thing and it is omnipresent! These steps on how to manage work stress is just a starter. Once you make this your lifestyle, it’s much easier to handle it.