Workplace Stress

Work can be stressful, no matter what type of job you have. Whether it's the people we work with that get on our nerves, or the lack of compensation, or the workplace conditions -- managing stress at work is possible! Take some time to track your stressors. Pay attention to what types of situations, what times of the day, or when interacting with which people tend to elicit a more stressful response. Then, you can have an idea of how to respond and cope accordingly.

My SIMPLE, EASY tips to manage workplace stress:

1. Take breaks

  • When you are feeling panicky, tired, or just plain old bogged down, take a break. Get out of your chair and go for a walk. Head to the bathroom and take some deep breaths. Stretch, roll your neck in a circle a few times. Take some time for you.

  • Learn how to relax. Take time to meditate when at work, or take a lunch break. Create a time during your work day that you can look forward to and relax during.

  • Healthy employees are typically more productive! And part of being healthy means learning to take care of yourself.

2. Communicate effectively.

  • One of my biggest suggestions when dealing with other people (especially annoying coworkers) is accepting them for who they are and understanding that you cannot change or control them.

  • Therefore, we need to focus on YOUR response and behavior. Before giving a response to anyone (whether it's a coworker or your boss) THINK before you answer. Is what you are about to say kind, thoughtful and productive? Trust me, if you respond angrily or nastily, it will affect you just as much, if not more, as it affects them.

  • Focus on YOU and how you feel, rather than attacking or criticizing the person you work with. Try and come from a place of compromise and understanding.

3. Set boundaries

  • I have written a blog post specifically on this topic, but I want to briefly bring it up again here. Set boundaries with your co-workers and/or boss. Do not take on projects or deadlines that you cannot handle. Also, say no to doing another person's job. You do not have to pick up someone else's slack.

  • This also includes setting boundaries with loved ones outside of work. If you need a night to yourself, or don't want to talk about work after work, that is OKAY.

4. Time management

  • Learn how to manage your time. Buy a desk calendar or a planner and write out deadlines in advance. Construct a schedule of small, achievable goals that you can begin working on ahead of time so that you are not rushing to complete a task last minute.

5. Ask for help

  • Have an open conversation with your supervisor or boss. Come up with an effective plan for managing the stressors you've identified, so you can perform your best. Some parts of this plan could include:

  • improving your skills in areas such as time management

  • identifying employer-sponsored wellness resources you can take advantage of

  • clarifying what is expected of you, getting necessary support from colleagues

  • enriching your job to include more challenging or meaningful tasks

  • or making changes to your physical workspace to make it more comfortable and reduce strain

  • You could also seek out a therapist to help process and find solutions to your stress. No shame in that!

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