Work-related stress is one of the major causes of stress. It could be the endless deadlines and meetings. It is just very common to be stressed from work. The popular causes of work-related stress are fear of being laid off, excess overtime, no job satisfaction, lack of control to mention a few.
Too much stress from work can leave you drained and overwhelmed and this will affect your productivity and efficiency at work and even in other aspects of your life such as your health and personal life. Work-related stress can lead to things such as depression, sleep problems, fatigue, social withdrawal, and drug abuse.
Factors such as your personality, experiences, and other special features you have, influence what triggers you and the way you respond to stress. Things that are distressing for your colleagues might not bother you at all. Similarly, you might be vulnerable to certain stressors that do not bother other people.
Agreed, you might not be able to control the amount of work and the pressure that comes with it, still, you can develop mechanisms to help you cope with the stress and effectively deal with it. These mechanisms will help you cope effectively and do better when work stress comes up. Coping adequately with work-related stress benefits both your professional and personal life.
Below are a few tips which we think are the best ways to handle work-related stress:
- Identify what triggers your stress.
Different things can trigger you to feel stressed. You need to identify what triggers you. Only then can you adequately deal with and cope with work-related stress. Take time out to record the situations, events, and people who trigger you. You can note this by noticing people and situations that cause you to have a negative physical, mental, or emotional response. Then of course evaluate your record. Ensure to do this as it is the first step to dealing with work-related stress.
- Deal with the identified triggers
Once identified, it is easier to deal with them and find ways to resolve them. If for instance, what causes your stress is the commute time, then you will be able to plan towards moving closer to your work location or finding a job with a skeletal work system, so you do not have to go to work daily. Whatever is within your power to control should be controlled.
- Effectively manage your time
In addition to identifying your triggers and dealing with them, it is also important for you to manage your time adequately. One major thing that triggers work-related stress is short deadlines. If you identify that deadlines trigger you, then develop ways to manage your time properly. It can be something as little as having a to-do list. Ways to effectively manage your time include setting realistic goals and deadlines. If the deadline given to you is unrealistic, you can communicate and ask for more time. If you do not, you will end up stressing, not achieving much, and not submitting the task in time.
Another way to effectively manage your time is for you to prioritize tasks according to their order of importance. This will help you keep perspective of what is important. If you do not work on important tasks first, then you will have a short period to work on them. This will stress you and that is what you are trying to avoid.
- Work-life balance
Work-life balance is dividing your time between family, work, and leisure. Having a good balance between all these important components of your life helps you to feel good and thus makes you productive. Work-life balance also includes how well you take care of yourself. You can achieve a balanced life by prioritizing. When it’s family time, avoid work as much as possible. With working from home, the lines can get blurred. It is left to you to be intentional about it so you can have a balanced life. A balanced life reduces work-related stress.
- Take a break
The importance of taking a break cannot be overemphasized. There is a reason the laws provide for leave periods for employees all over. No matter how much you enjoy what you do, you need time off. From time to time. Time off helps you relax. Even when you are not on leave, you can take daily breaks. You can take five minutes to get your mind off work and relax. You can do this during your lunch break or even at your workstation.
- Find a new hobby
You can find a new hobby or work on your old ones. Hobbies provide an outlet for us to enjoy other things. Hobbies also help to prevent us from being burnt out. A hobby can be something like going out with friends to socialize. Just anything to make you feel good and take your mind off work stress. This new hobby can be exercising. Exercising benefits both your mental and physical health and relieves stress.
- Seek help if necessary
When you have tried all that is within your power, if you still are not dealing with or coping with stress properly, then you can decide to seek help. You can do this by talking to someone close to you or colleagues at work. They might have useful tips that will help you deal better with the stress. Simply talking about it might just make you feel better.
You can also get a professional such as a therapist to help you. A therapist might even help you identify certain stressors that you were not able to identify and then help you see ways to deal with them. A mental health provider may be just what you need to help you with your work stress. The good thing is that your employee health insurance might cover this and so you won’t have to break the bank to get help. You can also try counseling.