If work has you stressed, it can impact work performance and other areas of your life like romantic relationships and family. You can’t just quit your job, but you can implement effective ways to reduce and manage stress at work. First, learn to recognize the signs of excessive workplace stress which include:
- anxiousness, irritability, or depression,
- work-related apathy,
- sleep issues,
- concentration issues,
- muscle tension,
- stomach issues,
- social withdrawal,
- lack of sexual desire,
- use of alcohol or drugs as a response.
Next, try implementing the following seven responses.
1. Coping techniques. Learn to recognize and immediately address when you’re feeling stressed. Avoid coping through alcohol, drugs, or nicotine. These responses temporarily mask problems or lift mood, but cause other problems. You may find your work performance affected or may fail work mandated drug tests. Learn healthy techniques.
2. Exercise. Get moving. Aerobic exercise like dancing, running, hiking or walking raises your heart rate and lifts your mood. Aim for 30 minutes per day. You can break it up into two or three segments. When faced with a stressful situation, run the stairs.
3. Better, more efficient work tools. It’s true that there’s an app for that nowadays, plus you can add to everyday programs like Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange. For instance, you can find integrated meeting and conference planning tools at Add-on Products. It lets you handle things like booking meeting rooms and associated services all at once.
4. Get organized. Clean your desk and file cabinets. Bring control to your work area. You’ll reduce stress by improving the look of the area and making it easier to find what you need. Use a desk blotter that doubles as a giant calendar to easily see your schedule and reasonably space deadlines throughout the month.
5. Vent to a stress buddy. They’ll be your listening ear and you’ll be theirs. Make sure you both practice active listening. Neither of you needs to solve the other’s problem. Just talk about things.
6. Make a plan. Prioritize. Delegate. Eliminate. Organizing your real needs and attacking the most important items first will help you get a grip on things.
7. Feed your soul, not your stress. This means eating when your body needs food, not as a response to stress; eating consistent healthy choices; and getting a good night’s sleep every night. Stress can cause insomnia, so if natural remedies like lavender or chamomile tea and soft music don’t work to make you fall asleep, talk to your doctor about a sleep aid.
Don’t let work stress take over your life. Enjoy building your career by learning healthy ways to cope with stress.