Everyone gets stressed at work every so often. Even if you are working your dream job there will be elements of it that are going to cause you some stress, such as having to meet targets or deadlines. As a creative copywriter, I find it stressful brainstorming and researching what my client's target audience will be inspired to read about. This stress should, in theory, go away once you have reached your goal or timeline, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t always. A little bit of stress can give you motivation. Once pressure starts to affect your home life, you need to do something about it.
Long-term stress is common, but it’s also dangerous. It can affect your physical health as well as your mental health. In fact, dangerous health conditions like heart disease and stroke may be caused by, among other things, stress. If you want to avoid this, and make your life a little bit easier and a lot less stressful, then here are some things that you can do to help manage your business issues and workplace stress.
If you aren’t sure what is making you feel stressed, then you are only ever going to feel more stressed. It is necessary to figure this out before anything else. Doing this will also help you to spot your reactions to stress, and so stop them if they are mainly negative. To do this, you can keep a diary or a journal for a few weeks. In this diary, you should make a note of any time that you notice that you are feeling stressed.
When you do this, you should also write down any events that led up to this feeling, anyone or anything that was involved and describe the environment around you. Also, mention how you reacted to this stress and what you did afterwards. Once you’ve found a pattern, you can figure out how to handle it. Heal your gut and fill your diet full of nourishing whole foods.
ELIMINATE UNHEALTHY RESPONSES
More often than not, people respond unhealthily to stress. It’s completely understandable, of course, but it doesn’t help you or anyone else. Your job is to spot these unhealthy responses using your diary and turn them into healthy ones instead. For example, if you tend to reach for junk food when you’re stressed, go for a jog or brisk walk instead, to clear your head. Walking helps to reduce your stress and is a whole lot healthier than chips and chocolate.
If you snap at people when you’re stressed, remove yourself from the situation. Maybe try meditation. Meditation spares you and those around you and calms you down, rather than firing you back up again.
ESTABLISH WORK-LIFE BALANCE
If work has made you stressed, then it’s understandable that you still feel a little bit stressed when you get home. What’s right though, is that, once you’ve had some time to relax, you’ll be able to forget about work, and the stress will go away. However, if you’re bringing your work home with you in any respect, you’re never going to be able to relax. You have to establish some work-life boundaries, or your work stress is going to continue to affect your home life. Of course, you won’t always be able to avoid work at home, but setting some simple ground rules, such as not checking your emails or work phone after a particular time, will allow you some time to do things that you enjoy and spend time with the ones you love.
GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Going to work on little to no sleep is the worst thing in the world. It isn’t always avoidable, and some nights you won’t be able to get to sleep no matter what you do, but you have to try, or you will get stuck in a constant sluggish and irritable cycle. Although you should aim for eight hours a night, there isn’t a set amount of hours that works for everyone, so it makes more sense to do things to improve the quality of your sleep, rather than the quantity.
Staying away from caffeine, stressful situations, and your mobile phone just before bed will ensure that you get to sleep quicker and will make it less likely that you’ll have a restless night. Ensuring that your bedroom remains dark, quiet, and calm will also improve your sleep quality, as will going to bed at about the same time every night.
HAVE A PLAN
Stress levels increase if you feel out of control, so it makes sense to plan whatever you can to ensure that your day runs smoothly. For example, you could write a schedule for your day, and ensure that you have a balance between your work, your other responsibilities, spending time with your family, and having fun. You can also plan when your breaks are so that you don’t add to your stress by working for hours on end and tiring yourself out.
One primary cause of workplace stress is the risk of job loss, so you can plan for this too by looking at jobs in your field, or even different ones, like labouring jobs. Knowing that there are other jobs out, there might ease your mind.
BREAK BAD HABITS
Sometimes workplace stress isn’t your fault, but sometimes it is. Luckily, when you are partly responsible for your anxiety, there is plenty that you can do to reduce it. For example, it’s great if you want to get things right at work, but if you’re continually trying to get everything perfect all the time, then nothing is ever going to go your way, and you are going to feel incredibly stressed. You need to stop setting unrealistic goals for yourself, or you are never going to be happy.
As long as you do your best, that’s all the matters. You also need to stop taking everything so seriously all the time. Yes, work is work, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t laugh too. If something goes wrong, it’s much better to laugh about it and move on than dwell on it and feel awful.
TRY TO RELAX
The best way to manage your stress is to find some way to relax. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there, so you have to find a technique that suits you. Meditation and yoga are fantastic, as in these classes you are taught deep breathing techniques that naturally help you to relieve stress. Other forms of exercise, such as jogging, also help, as they trigger the release of endorphins which combat stress. Have you tried drumming therapy? Doing things you enjoy, like reading a book, spending time with your family, and taking a bath also releases endorphins and will be a great help.
SHARE YOUR STRESS
Talking about your stresses is a great way to get advice and gain perspective. Talk to your coworkers and loved ones about how you feel. They may be able to help take the load off you and give you a little more space to breathe. Talk to your boss. Discuss with them how you have been feeling and what you find stressful.
Any decent supervisor will empathise with your situation and will be able to come up with some suggestions as to how to reduce your stress at work. This chat might be a scary conversation to start up, but you are much more productive if you’re feeling your best, so your boss will be grateful that you spoke to them.
KNOW WHEN TO STOP
Everyone needs a break now and then. If you’ve been feeling the effects of chronic stress for some time, take a break. During this time, avoid anything to do with work. Turn off your work phone, not checking your emails, and not visiting the office. Instead, take some time to unwind, do something you enjoy, or go on a trip with your family. You aim to feel completely refreshed when you go back to work. That won’t happen if you’re stressing about work the entire time.
Everyone faces workplace stress at some point, but you need to spot when this stress is becoming a problem and do something about it. The tips above are all great advice, but sometimes even they won’t be able to help. If your stress is getting worse, you should speak to a doctor, psychologist, or another professional. Get some help and advice. They have been trained years and will know the best ways to help you. Collaboration.