In this day and age, almost everybody experience some stress at work. In fact, unhealthy working is the main reason for stress these days. If you feel like work stress is getting the best of you, here are some great TIPS, to help you deal with the pressure!
1. Take Breaks
Most workplaces allow their workers regular breaks throughout the day. In fact, studies have shown that taking breaks can actually boost productivity levels. So, if you ever feel pressured to skip your breaks, just remember that your time may actually be better spent relaxing. You could take a walk around the block, call a friend, grab a coffee, or anything else that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to get back to work.
2. Practice relaxation techniques
Though taking your breaks is a great way to de-stress during the work day, sometimes you need to calm down even when you can’t get away from your desk. For those instances, you may well want to learn some relaxation techniques, you can use without going anywhere. Some great examples to try are deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or a chanting mantra. Or, adding some tabletop plants. Another option is exercise, which science has shown is a great way to decrease stress. Even if you can’t fit in time for the gym outside of work, there are plenty of small exercises you can do just at your desk. Try adding a few of these techniques to your schedule and you should see (and feel!) the results almost immediately.
3. Take time to recharge outside of work
If taking your breaks and practicing relaxation techniques at your desk still isn’t enough, make sure you aren’t adding extra stress to your plate with your outside-of-work activities. Are you stretching yourself by helping out with your kid’s PTA? What about stressing yourself out with a house remodel? These kinds of pressures outside of work can add to an already stressful situation, making your 9 to 5 feel even busier and more demanding than it is. Take a good hard look at the commitments you’ve agreed to and see if there are any you could cut down on to make things a little easier for yourself. Of course, that’s not to say that you should get rid of all of your non-work activities. In fact, though you want to cut down on things that add to your workload, you should increase the time you spend doing things that help you relieve stress. From volunteering to shooting hoops with the guys, these kinds of extracurricular activities have been shown to lower stress levels, changing both your work and home life for the better.
4. Develop and maintain your support networks
Sometimes you don’t have to change anything about the amount of work you have at home or at your job, to feel like things are a little easier to deal with. Just having a strong support network of friends and family is a huge help in dealing with stress. Socializing allows you to take your mind off things, and having a friend or family member to confide in gives you a way to vent and let off some of your stress. So, if you’re putting off socializing because you’re stressed out with work, you may actually be making things harder for yourself! Instead, consider reaching out to your friends for something as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee or some drinks after work—it may be just the break from work that your nerves needed!
5. Create a relaxing space for yourself at home
A lot of the stress you are experiencing at work could be due to the atmosphere of your workplace. If you’re in a bland, gray cubicle you’re likely to feel far more disheartened, than if you’ve added some decoration to make your office feel like it really belongs to you. Similarly, if you work from home some or all of the time, make sure you have a space designated just for that purpose, somewhere where your family members won’t bother you and you are able to concentrate in comfort. Get yourself a man cave to escape into, at home or just a more nicely decorated cubicle and you’ll see your stress levels decline in no time.
6. Avoid stressors or come up with healthier responses
If you’ve looked outside of work for possible stressors and don’t see anything problematic there, it may be time to turn your eye inward. Are there potential stressors at work that aren’t necessary to doing your job? For example, if you’ve taken on the job of coordinating birthday parties for people at work on top of your usual duties, perhaps it’s time to hand that off to someone else. Or maybe there’s a particular person at work who just gets your hackles up. If Jake from Marketing always manages to say something to put you off your game, try avoiding him as much as possible. If you cut out the most stressful parts (or people) from your job, it might suddenly seem a lot more bearable! Of course, sometimes cutting out the stressful parts of your work simply isn’t possible. In that case, there are still things you can do to improve your situation. Instead of responding to those stressors, whatever they are, by immediately feeling tense, anxious or angry, practice new responses that will be better for your mood and your health. This is a great place to try some of those relaxation exercises I mentioned earlier!
7. Discuss the situation with your supervisor
If you’ve tried all of these techniques for dealing with and decreasing stress at work and you still feel like the pressure is too much, it may well be time for you to speak to your supervisor. See if there is anything your boss can do to change your workload or responsibilities to make things more manageable on your end. Just plan ahead to make sure you are approaching your boss in the best way and you could cut your stress levels down enormously. Lots of people get so used to feeling stressed out about work that they start to think that it’s just the way things have to be, but that’s simply not the case! Almost any situation can be made less stressful using the right techniques.
You may have to try a few different things before you figure out what works for you, but don’t give up!