The workplace is often a stressful environment. If you take a closer look, work is the center of a wide variety of sources for stress, and it has been for a long time, especially the past few generations. With the passing of time, work becomes more time-consuming and more fast-paced, with little time to rest and almost no room for mistakes.
In such a chaotic and stressful environment, staying calm and relaxed is necessary to keep yourself functional and healthy. Instead of working yourself to death, you might consider reading these tips about coping with work, answering the question everyone asks at least once in their lifetime: how do you deal with stress in the workplace?
Finding the source of your stress
Identifying the feeling of being stressed and anxious is the first step to solving the problem, and since you’re reading this, it seems you’ve already tackled that front. Congratulations! You can check the first thing off the list.
Now, the workplace is filled with possible stress sources, and most of the time stress comes from more than one source. To take action, you need to target what the problem is first, and for that we have listed some of the most common sources of stress you can find in the workplace.
- You don’t like your job: This might be the most common source of unhappiness a person experiences. Today, not everyone can make a living off of something they like doing, and many people have to suck it up and work on a field they hate. You might want to take a look at your job and think about how it makes you feel, and adjust accordingly
- The setting: The environment where we reside can have great effects on our mood and our mental health, and since we spend a big chunk of our day at work, the workplace becomes an important factor on how we feel. If the setting of your job is chaotic, loud, messy, or just plain depressing, it’s up to you to change it as much as you can.
- Traumatic events: Some jobs are very dangerous, like police officers, firefighters, or ambulance drivers. They witness scenes that are difficult to watch, and sometimes might have feelings of guilt after not being able to save someone. There are other jobs, like social workers, psychologists, or detectives, that come with a heavy emotional load. This type of PTSD needs to be taken seriously, and mental health shouldn’t be neglected.
- The pressure and demands: As we mentioned in the beginning, we are living in a faster society as time goes by. It seems like we are expected to be perfect and work with pretty tight deadlines. As capable and qualified as you might be to perform at your job, sometimes pressure can be too much, and learning to identify when that happens can help you know when to take a step back and breathe.
- Feeling powerless: The feeling of having a lack of control and power is a very common cause for depression and anxiety, and there are lots of jobs that can originate those feelings in a person. Occupations like waitresses, police officers, or medical interns, where they have to accommodate to the people’s timelines and demands, makes those jobs be highly stressful.
- Change: Change stresses many people out, and the workplace is no different. In fact, changes around the workplace are some of the most stressful ones, as they can result in you losing your job, and that means you won’t be able to eat. Whether it being the fear of change, or when a change has happened, the feeling of uncertainty is very uncomfortable.
Maintain healthy habits
Whatever the source of your stress may be, an excellent way to cope with it and not let it take over your life, is to maintain healthy habits. If you don’t, the stress can end up making you ill, so here are some general things to keep in mind when it comes to your health.
- Exercise: You’ve probably heard this a million times, but exercise is an excellent way of coping with stress. As tired and unhappy as you feel, just push yourself to make a habit out of it, starting with very mild exercise. You will feel ten times better, and work won’t seem like the end of the world.
- Sleep: It doesn’t matter how much work you have to do, how worried or stressed you feel, force yourself to sleep at least eight hours every day. A lack of sleep is the most common cause of crankiness and anxiousness, so put yourself first and sleep it off.
- Food: When you live a busy life, it’s very common to fall into a bad nutrition. The convenience of fast food, and the temporary satisfaction of delicious but very unhealthy treats, are two reasons for this to happen. But on the long run, a diet filled with fats and carbohydrates is detrimental to your health, both physical and mental. As we advise you to do with exercise, just push yourself to eat healthier and make it a habit, you’ll feel much better.
- Mental health: People often neglect their mental health, not realizing that it is as important as their physical health. Going to therapy doesn’t mean you are crazy, it’s just like going to the doctors to have a general check in. Besides therapy, meditation and relaxation techniques are also good for the mind.
- Rest: Make sure you set apart a time of your day dedicated to rest, where you won’t have work on your mind. Spend time with your loved ones, read a book, watch something on TV, cook a healthy meal, or just practice your form of self-care.
Time to get organized
Organization is the best way to prevent stress in any aspect of your life, especially at work. When you get organized, you will be able to take care of everything way better, and you will feel less chaos in your mind.
Making a schedule for your days is a good way to stay on top of things, leaving enough time for every task, and making sure you can get to work on time. Waking up early is a good habit to feel less stressed, and you’ll notice that having enough time in the morning to get ready and arrive early to work will lay off the stress.
The key to planning your days is to know your limits and boundaries. Learn to what extent you are able to work efficiently and comfortably, and make sure to plan little breaks. Also, it’s always good to learn when to say no to people, and know that there’s no pressure to be available 24 hours a day for your employers.
Remember you can reach out
Communication is important in any relationship, including the ones at the workplace. If you feel there’s something that needs to be said to your boss, whether it be a change in how things are being done or related to your job specifically, you have to be able to reach out to them and work something out. Also, the human resources department must be there to help you out when your boss won’t cooperate. Also look into getting a business coach to walk you through the source of your stress.
You also have your co-workers, and if you feel comfortable around them, a little group support is always a good stress relief. The fact that you are all going through the same struggle is comforting and you can help each other out.