Workplace stress is a growing issue that not only affects the health and well-being of employees, but also the productivity of organisations. Excessive amounts of stress can impact on the physical and emotional health of a person and can seriously impact a person’s wellbeing.
The causes for workplace stress vary greatly and so do the strategies to reduce it. Your ability to deal with stress will depend on realising what you can and can’t control in the work environment. Finding ways to manage workplace stress isn't about making drastic changes or rethinking your career path, but rather focusing on the one thing you can control: you.
Recognise the warning signs
When you are continually feeling anxious and overwhelmed at work, you may become irritable, withdrawn and start doing things out of character. Ignoring the clear warning signs will only lead to higher levels of stress and bigger problems.
If you’re having trouble concentrating, feeling depressed or suffering from fatigue, take a step back and start looking after yourself.
Look after yourself
Workplace stress tends to have a flow on effect and interferes with your personal life, health and ability to deal with challenges that arise. If you find this is happening to you, it’s time to start paying attention to your physical and emotional health. There are so many small things you can do to help lift your mood and increase your energy levels. As you begin to make more positive lifestyle choices you’ll find you are better equipped to deal with stress levels. Consider the following:
• Exercise: Regular exercise is a powerful stress reliever- it can also help improve sleep patterns and increased production of endorphins- the brain’s feel good chemical.
• Communicate with others: Sharing your feelings with friends and family can do wonders in helping a person relieve stress.
• Make the right food choices: Feeling anxious and stressed means potentially making poor food choices. Healthy eating can help you get through stressful work days, so opening the packet of chips ask yourself if you’re really making the right choice.
Prioritise and Organise
Before becoming overwhelmed with the tasks ahead, take a moment to plan your day and organise your responsibilities. Make a list of all your tasks, and tackle them in order of importance. We all have a task every now and then we tend to keep putting off but try and remember the sooner you complete this task, the sooner it will be over.
It’s also important to plan regular breaks throughout the day. You may not think you have time to leave your desk, however stepping away from work to briefly relax and recharge will help you be more productive.
Many of us make job stress worse with negative thoughts and behaviour. If you can turn around these self-defeating habits, you will find stress a lot easier to handle.