6 Tips for Effectively Managing Work Stress
Stress is a part of almost every profession. From lawyers and nurses to baristas and bloggers, everyone experiences on-the-job pressure. This tension may be the result of workload demands, money concerns, company culture, unclear job expectations, or an inability to find a work-life balance. And we all know managing work stress isn’t a 9-5 problem.
Stress follows you home. In one survey, 54% of workers reported that work stress followed them home. Over time, that burden can hinder your wellbeing.
That’s why it’s important to prioritize your mental health and make time for things like self-care even when you’re busy. Otherwise, all that pressure can ultimately lead to poor choices (think skipped meals, losing your temper, or misusing drugs and alcohol).
Sound easier said than done? We understand. So we’ve pulled together six practical tips for managing work stress.
6 Tips for Managing Work Stress
The majority of work stress likely comes from things outside your control — anticipated feedback, top-down pressure, and other general uncertainties.
When you can’t manage everything, control what you can. Use these six tips as a starting point:
1. Establish a Routine
When your brain is on overdrive, a routine can calm it down. From your morning coffee or favorite snack to the times you schedule meetings or breaks, consistency is key. Forming a habit takes practice and repetition, and it pays off when your stress is at its highest.
You’ll be able to fall back on positive coping skills (like your routine coffee or lunch break) when your stress reaches its peak.
2. Maintain Good Habits
Eat healthy. Move your body. Limit alcohol consumption. This advice is repetitive because it works. You’ll be amazed how implementing it can decrease stress levels.
3. Distract from Stress
All you need is 15 minutes to intentionally slow your mind down. From enjoying your coffee sans-screens to taking a quick walk, find your center at least once each day.
Lunch is a great time to do this, especially if you can savor your food with co-workers (no shop-talk allowed!).
4. Find Resources
Ask if your employer offers mental health benefits. Many provide Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that cover counseling support. Others may offer comprehensive workplace wellness programs that touch on physical, social, emotional, and even financial wellness – all of which can serve to decrease stressors.
If your employer doesn’t offer this type of program, consider pitching it to HR. In the meantime, online counseling can be a great option.
5. Lean on Others
Friends, family members, and even coworkers can help you disconnect and recharge. What activities will take your mind off work?
6. Have a Conversation
Talk with your supervisor about the work-related things causing you stress to see if plans can be adjusted. Or, ask coworkers to divide and conquer. Just keep in mind that productivity is your goal! Reiterate that job stressors are limiting your ability to be productive and provide meaningful work.
Implement these six tips for managing stress and you’ll be on your way to improved sleep, decreased body pain, and all-around improved quality of life. You may find that you even enjoy your job more!
How do you manage work-related stress? Will you give any of these tips a shot? Let us know in the comments!