Work-related stress is certainly an issue around the world. Everyone will have experienced the pressures of stress at work at some point, whether short-term or long-term. Emails, messages and constant meetings – it’s enough to make anyone overwhelmed!
Feeling some pressure at work is normal, but it’s when work stress becomes chronic that a serious issue arises. Severe, long-term stress can have some very real health disadvantages, from insomnia to high blood pressure, and it’s really important to prevent chronic stress before it makes an appearance.
We’ve collated six stress-busting tips to help you keep stress in the workplace to a minimum and feel more on top of things on a daily basis.
Learn What Triggers Workplace Stress
What triggers your stress in the workplace? Is it tight deadlines that leave you struggling to cope? Is it unclear instructions that make you feel lost? Or does conflict and arguing send your stress levels through the roof? Whatever it is, identify it, and make a note of each situation that triggers your workplace stress. Write down your thoughts, feelings and details about a certain event that has caused you to feel stressed, including how you reacted towards it. Being aware of how things affect you is the first step in managing workplace stress and helping you cope. Then, you can learn how to address each issue.
Create Balance in Your Work and Personal Life
Balance is essential. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to feel pressure to be available around the clock. However, establishing boundaries between your work and home life is crucial to managing stress. While that might mean putting your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ in the evening or making it a rule not to check emails after 6pm, carving out time for you and you alone is really important. Being available at all hours of the day is sure to burn you out and add to the stress of work, so make sure to set these boundaries for your own benefit.
Take time to recharge and be mindful
While this tip may be similar to setting boundaries between your home and work life so that you have more time for YOU, it cannot be emphasised enough. One of the best ways to cope with stress is to learn how to relax and take time to recharge. We all need time to replenish our energy and take breaks between working, even if just for a few minutes. One great way to de-stress is to practice mindfulness. This technique involves focussing on the here and now, as well as your breathing, to take your mind away from the worries and stresses of the future.
If you are not necessarily a disorganised person, working on your time management and creating schedules for yourself can help you to manage your stress much more effectively. Dividing your tasks into smaller, more manageable sections can certainly keep stress at bay. Making to-do lists and setting tangible goals can help you to avoid rushing before deadlines, and allow you to prioritise the big tasks before you start to feel the pressure.
Raise any concerns with your supervisor
If you’re starting to really feel the effects of stress, whether short term or chronic, it’s always a great idea to make your voice heard and let someone know. Set some time aside with your supervisor to talk with them about how you are feeling, and what tasks are making you feel overwhelmed. For example, you may want to communicate that you want to revisit what is expected of your role outside of working hours, or you may want to voice some concerns about the workload. Remember, they’re there to help you!
Take care of your health
While this may seem obvious, many people neglect their health during the working week, which can contribute even more to stress levels in the workplace. Just a few simple healthy habits can totally transform how you feel in your day-to-day. For example, regular exercise is a great stress relief, even if it’s simply a 10-minute walk. Not only can this lower stress levels, but it can improve mood, help you blow off steam, and even get you into better shape. Trying to cut down on alcohol and caffeine (even just a little bit!) can also definitely help you to ease up on stress in the long run. And finally, getting a good 7-8 hours of high-quality sleep each night is a great way to keep your stress levels under control.
These were Smithfield’s six tips on how to manage stress in the workplace. We hope that that this advice will help you to work more effectively, achieve better overall mental and physical health, and most importantly – stress less!