Everyone, at some point during their life, has experienced stress at work. To a greater or lesser degree, it’s a problem many of us deal with on a day to day basis. Whether it’s unreasonable deadlines, an unmanageable workload, friction with workmates or your boss, work stress can have a huge impact on both your work and home life.
Here are five tips for how to eliminate stress at work:
Track your Stress Levels
Your first priority is to work out what makes you stressed at work. Try to mentally log the moments during the day when you feel stress starting to rise. You can then begin to determine what has prompted the change in your equilibrium and develop strategies of dealing with it.
There’s nothing worse when you’re stressed, than feeling like things are out of your control. Try to accept the things you can’t control but look for areas in your working life where changes could be made. You may need to practice saying no to those who ask you to take on extra work, reach out to colleagues if you need support with a particular project or organize your time in a more structured way. Exercise and healthy eating may also help you to regulate your response to stress more successfully.
Refresh and Recuperate
Coming to work well rested and taking breaks throughout the day can actually improve your productivity. Rather than getting stuck in a rut at your desk, take a breather, walk around the office, make a hot drink and come back to your work refreshed. And it goes without saying that you should try to eat lunch away from your desk – socialize with workmates or get some fresh air outside – your state of mind and your work capacity are likely to be much improved for the rest of the afternoon.
Talk to Your Employer
It’s in everyone’s interest, including your employer’s, for staff to be stress free. Employees suffering from work-related stress are more likely to take days off sick. In the UK in 2015/16 11.7million working days were lost due to work stress absences.
Talking with your employer about how you are feeling may be half the battle in improving your state of mind at work. Getting things off your chest can have a great effect. Your employer will then also be in a position to make changes to assist you in reducing your stress levels. They may not have been aware of your situation and will be able to extend deadlines, add a member to your team, reshuffle desk layout or implement other strategies to improve your experience at work.
And remember that mental health problems in the work place are a common occurrence. Chances are your employer has had to deal with issues like this in the past and may be better placed than you imagine to come up with some solutions.
Switch Off at Home
In an age of such connectivity, it’s easy to take work home with you and lose out on the down time essential for a well-balanced life and mind. Try to avoid checking work emails at home unless it’s absolutely essential. And, if you do choose to do work at home, try to do it in a designated space. When you’re finished you can then close the door, both literally and figuratively, on your working day.
Stress in the workplace sometimes feels like an inevitability. However, feeling overwhelmed by work stress isn’t something you should just put up with. Talking to your employer, taking breaks and developing healthy responses can help you to overcome stress and lead a more fulfilled working life.