How to Bounce Back from Stress at Work

reduce stress at work

When work is stressing you out, you can feel it right when you wake up. Instead of feeling inspired and ready for the day, you might feel trapped or fatigued. That feeling of dread is a clear sign of stress at work. Experiencing it every now and again is basically a universal experience, no matter how much you love your job or what type of work you do. The hard part about workplace stress is that it not only affects your performance at work, it can often bleed into life outside of your job.

If you’re experiencing workplace stress, bouncing back can help to improve all areas of life. Though that’s often hard to accomplish, having some tools and plans in place can make the bounce back a little easier. Whether you’re feeling burnt out, experiencing interpersonal conflict with managers or other employees, recovering from a work injury, or dealing with a pay cut, there are ways to help reduce your stress to increase your overall happiness.

Handling Burnout

Being overworked, feeling underappreciated, clocking long hours, picking up the slack for others, and working outside of normal business hours can cause some serious burnout. A lack of attention to work-life balance can be a big problem for many people in the workforce, and it can lead to issues with a person’s health and wellness. If you feel like you can’t get a good balance, something needs to change ASAP. Some symptoms of burnout include:

  • A lack of energy
  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Feeling irritable
  • Experiencing sleep problems
  • Body aches and pains

A good work-life balance is of critical importance in the psychology of retaining top talent at a company. If a company wants to keep its best people, it needs to understand the importance of creating a balance.

If you’re experiencing burnout, speak with your manager and discuss ways to ease your workload. Don’t be afraid to talk about your worth at the company and how the stress of being overworked isn’t sustainable for you. Consider bringing up the prospects of taking a long vacation, taking more breaks from work, or taking a walk during the work day. Make sure you’re firm in your need to lessen your load. If all else fails, try finding somewhere else to work; maintaining a healthy balance is far more important than any one job.

Managing Interpersonal Conflict

In a professional setting, people are often forced to work very closely with a lot of different personalities and adapt to them right away. However, it’s not uncommon for some of these to not jibe with yours. Issues with managers or other employees can happen, and it can leave a person feeling stressed and unhappy in their work environment. If this applies to you, don’t be afraid to utilize your HR department for any serious issues. Avoidance is a tactic to avoid stressful situations as well, so try to avoid the person you have conflict with as much as possible.

Work hard to not get too emotionally involved in workplace conflicts. Instead, recognize them, avoid the problematic person, and consider speaking to HR. Don’t let toxic people have any control over your happiness.

gender equality stress at work

Recovering From a Work Injury

A workplace injury can put you out of work for a while, depending on the severity of the injury. This can be stressful due to financial burden, having to miss work, and being in pain during the recovery process. Some of the more common workplace injuries include repetitive motion injuries, tripping, or strain. There are a lot of variables in terms of work injuries due to differing company policies, insurance types, workers compensation, and the nature of different injuries, but any of them can be stressful.

One way to help get through the stress of a work injury is to have an emergency cash plan if you’re seriously injured and need to stay in the hospital. This might include a personal savings account, an HSA, or keeping a stockpile of PTO. Talk to your employer about your options and work on recovering quickly. You can also look into your state’s laws on workplace injuries and whether or not you qualify for workers’ compensation. At the end of the day, your health is the most important, so utilize on your support system and focus on recovery.

Surviving a Pay Cut

Losing financial stability can be a big source of stress that can stem from work and leak into all other areas of life. If you have experienced a pay cut, a demotion, a change in work hours, etc. that put your finances in a hard place, feeling stressed is completely normal. Bouncing back from a change in your financial standing will involve a look into how long this pay cut will last and if it’s sustainable for you.

Work on creating a budget by outlining how much you make and how much your bills are for any given month. If it’s not sustainable, work on cutting down some expenses while you spruce up your resume to find other work. You can also try speaking to your employer and discussing your concerns with your pay. If you choose to leave, leave on good terms — even if you’re disgruntled.

Control Your Stress at Work So It Doesn’t Control You

Experiencing stress at work is common, and many different scenarios can be the cause. Sometimes the key to finding a better work-life balance is to speak to your manager about your needs, and sometimes the key is practicing avoidance and focusing on your own happiness. You may need to prioritize your own health first, and the key may be finding employment that makes more sense for your needs. Troubleshooting solutions may not be fun, but it’ll lead you the right way to bounce back from your stress.

This guest post was authored by Brooke Faulkner

Brooke Faulkner is a writer, mom and adventurer in the Pacific Northwest. She spends her days pondering what makes a good leader.  And then dreaming up ways to teach these virtues to her sons, without getting groans and eye rolls in response.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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