Stress is a normal part of our lives, especially in the workplace. Too much stress negatively impacts your health, increasing your vulnerability to illness, encouraging depression, and decreasing your productivity. Fortunately, there are ways to manage stress and how it affects you.
Recognize Factors Contributing to Stress
Stress is a unique and personal experience and what may be stressful for one person may not cause stress for another. It is important to recognize the factors contributing to your stress and, if possible, work towards removing the impact of those stressors. You may only be able to fix some stressors, like low salary, excessive workload, or an unpleasant coworker, by moving on to new opportunities. However, you may be able to improve other stressors, like time management skills, poor communication, and issues between team members, through learning new skills or talking through conflict.
When you find yourself stressed, take note of the situation. Take time later to fully examine the situation to determine what, if anything, you can do to improve the situation and your response. Be proactive and take steps to fix the situation and your response. If the situation feels totally out of your control, talk with a friend or your family to see if fresh eyes can give you a unique perspective on any action you can take.
Talk to Management
One of the best ways to reduce stress within your work environment is having a healthy relationship with your management team. Have a conversation with your manager to talk about stress you are experiencing and what could be done to alleviate it. Do not take an accusatory tone in this conversation—after all, good managers want their teams to succeed, and they should help each team member achieve that success.
Take a Break
Everyone needs a little time to themselves every now and again. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break. That may just mean stepping away from your desk for a quiet five minutes or that you leave every day to go to lunch. If you can, however, it is good to take vacation time every so often to keep yourself from getting burnt out. Americans are particularly bad about taking allotted vacation time; over half of us do not use all our available paid vacation.
Let Yourself Go Off the Clock
When you are on vacation or off work for the weekend or the evening, ensure your “off” time is truly “off.” For some people, this means turning off email notifications and possibly even their phone when not at work. For others, that is not a possibility. Even if you are required to keep in touch, you can limit the time you spend outside of work attached to work. Create boundaries that work within the limitations of your position that give you the chance to be fully present in your life outside of the office.
Guard Your Attitude
Be aware of the role your attitude plays in your stress response and try to stay positive. A positive attitude can help motivate you through a stressful situation, and can give you the optimism necessary to find solutions to remove or lessen repeated stressors. If you struggle to maintain positivity, take a few minutes to breathe and reset your train of thought. Focus on the things you enjoy or love about your job and your life, and try to look at the situation with fresh eyes. While not every situation is positive, you can be aware of how you are emotionally and work with your emotions to create a more positive outcome.
If daily stress is overwhelming you and no solutions seem to be available, remember that it can be a promising idea to consider what other opportunities are available. Reach out to one of our recruitment specialists or browse our job board to see if there is an opportunity available that will better fit your needs and skills.