How to Cope with Stress in the Workplace
The following is a guest post by Samantha Rivers. Her bio follows.
Workplace stressors, like tight deadlines and large workloads, can be overwhelming. Letting stress get out of hand can not only impact the quality of your work, it can contribute to health issues both minor to severe, ranging from headaches to an increased risk of heart disease. Whether constant interruptions, taking on more tasks than you have time in the day for, or forgetting to take care of yourself have you stressed out at work, there are ways to cope and find your center of calm. These tips can help.
Stay Focused by Eliminating Interruptions
The workplace is full of interruptions. All the stopping and starting can make it difficult to get in a rhythm and put you behind in your work, which is not good for managing stress. Eliminating interruptions is a great way to stay focus and stay on top of your work. Reduce interruptions by setting aside a certain window of time during the day to answer emails all at once, instead of every 10 minutes, block out office chatter by closing your office door, if you have one, or wear noise canceling headphones if you’re in a cubicle.
Take Care of Yourself Outside of the Workplace
Taking care of yourself outside of the workplace is often forgotten, but it is important for mental health and reducing stress. A lack of sleep can increase stress hormones. Making sleep a priority can help reduce stress hormones, which can translate to feeling less stressed in the workplace. Eating healthy is also important to managing stress and some foods may even help reduce stress. Some stress busting foods to add to your diet include berries, cashews, chamomile tea, and oatmeal.
Take Time Off to Recharge
Working non-stop can cause burnout, which can be avoided if you actually use your vacation and personal time off days. Taking time off from work can help reduce stress hormones. Whether you plan a relaxing trip lounging on the beach or stay home, getting away from work can help recharge your batteries.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
It’s easy to feel the need to take on every task thrown your way, especially when trying to make a good impression in the workplace. Saying yes to everything can cause your responsibilities to get out of hand, leading to a stressful work environment. Sometimes, the best thing to do is say no. Learning to say no can help keep your workload manageable.
Pick Up a Fun Side Job
Taking on another job when trying to cope with stress in the workplace may seem counter-intuitive, but having an additional source of income can help take some of the pressure off of your regular 9 to 5 job. When you enjoy what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. Look for a fun side job or freelance work that you can enjoy. Picking up a side job is great for those who like to socialize and need the flexibility of working on their own schedule.
Utilize Tech and Apps for Managing Stress
Tech and apps can help you manage stress both in and outside of the workplace. Online tools, like The Huffington Post’s GPS for the Soul, offer tips for de-stressing your life, while apps like Headspace help users develop breathing techniques to deal with stress and learn meditation practices, respectively.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accept it. Sometimes the best way to reduce stress is to have the support of others. Help may come in the form of other coworkers taking on some of your tasks or job duties or it could simply be talking about what’s going on to a trusted friend or loved one or seeking counseling. Talk to your supervisor about ways to reduce stress in your job, such as getting support from coworkers or changing your workspace to make it more conducive to getting your work done.
Regain Your Sense of Calm
When workplace stress gets out of control, it can have a negative impact on your overall quality of life. Making these simple changes can help you combat stress and find your sense of calm.
Samantha Rivers is a freelance writer who lives in Chicago (Go Cubs!). She loves writing anything in the lifestyle, career and tech realm both online and print. When she’s not running the Upward Onward blog, she enjoys reading, finding new restaurants, being active outside, and indulging in a glass of wine or two. Follow her on Twitter!