How to deal with workplace stress

In any career, you will find yourself in situations where you are under immense pressure and feel incredibly stressed. Whether it be due to tight deadlines, large loads of work to complete, or a disagreement in the office, employees will face stressful situations. Some of these situations can be avoided through either time management or communicating properly. However some are unavoidable, and can create stress no matter what they are. To deal with these stressful situations, here are our tips on how to deal with workplace stress!

Start the day right

Waking up early with plenty of time to spare is the best way to start the day. Getting up early means you can carefully take your time to make breakfast, grab a coffee, and commute to work. Leaving things last minute is only going to cause stress by rushing around, trying to have breakfast whilst getting ready, and if there is traffic, an awful commute. Avoid this, as all it will do is make you feel stressed, meaning you will arrive at work in the wrong headspace. This will result in a fraught start to the day which can affect your quality of work.

Time management

Time management is a skill everybody uses at some point in their lives, whether it be at school, university, or in a job. Not only does it help in completing tasks, but it can help deal with the stress of having a huge workload. Being given multiple tasks to complete at once can be incredibly overwhelming, and can cause stress before you have even started. Make time in your day to work on separate tasks, prioritising what needs to be done first, to make sure that everything is completed on time. This will reduce the amount of stress you may feel when given a large workload, as it allows you to be productive and gives you control.

An image of a comfortable desk set up.

Be comfortable

Being comfortable where you work will improve not just your mood, but your productivity as well. If you're sat at a desk 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, make sure you’re sitting on a comfortable, ergonomic chair, have access to water, and go out for fresh air at lunch. These things may be small, but in the long run they will help with your mental and physical health. Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you have been given? Go on a 10-minute walk at lunch. Feeling stressed due to tight deadlines? Have a breather and some water to stay hydrated. By taking care of yourself and feeling comfortable, you can be in a good headspace to complete tasks and manage workplace stress.

Develop healthy habits

It can be easy to slip into unhealthy habits after a long week at work. Pints in the pub after work, going out every weekend, and eating takeaways after a long day can be habits developed after having a stressful day or week at work. There is nothing wrong with any of these things, as long as they are in moderation. Having an unhealthy lifestyle by not eating healthily and always drinking can affect your mental health drastically. It can cause anxiety, depression, and affect not just your professional life but your personal too. By eating a balanced diet, drinking in moderation, and exercising, you can help keep your physical and mental health in good condition. As a result of this, it will help in dealing with stressful situations in the workplace and at home.

A healthy plate of sushi

Establish boundaries

For a lot of employees, there is a pressure to be available and on call all day every day. Things as simple as checking work emails before bed or working on tasks on days off can be harmless. However this can be stressful if this constantly becomes expected of you. Establish boundaries between your work and personal life. This can help in dealing with workplace stress by avoiding burnout and minimizing the risk of potentially toxic working environment.

Communicate

If you feel stressed and overwhelmed at work, a good way to deal with this is to communicate. Don’t bottle up how you are feeling, as the stress will build up and affect your mental health. If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work or tight deadlines, speak to a colleague or your manager and ask for help. If you have been given a huge workload and an unrealistic time frame to complete it in, speak to your manager and be honest; it’s too much work for you to complete alone with the given deadline. Communicate with colleagues and if needed, share the workload.

Group of women communicating their stress.

Learn to relax

Workplace stress is something which can be carried from the office and brought home. Try to break this habit by learning how to unwind and relax when away from work. This can be done through exercise, cooking a meal, listening to a podcast, or whatever makes you feel calm. If work is stressing at home, switch off your work phone to fully relax from any work-related calls or messages. Finding a hobby or exercise can distract your mind and is an outlet for releasing stress. Try to find an activity or hobby you can easily do or have access to.

Workplace stress is something you will experience in any job. As hard as you try to avoid it, it's inevitable in some situations. These tips can help you manage stress, however if you're feeling overwhelmed, speak to a professional or seek advice.

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