Are you experiencing workplace stress? If so you are not alone. The HSE found that in 2018/9, approximately 602,000 UK workers were experiencing work related stress, depression or anxiety.
The problem is the 21st century is littered with stress. Our world is getting more digitised by the minute, yet we can’t seem to shake off the stress from work. You’ve had a long day. You just tidied your desk at the office and are eager to rush home. Your head throbs from the stress of the day as you navigate traffic. You get home happy and there are suddenly a hundred possible fun things you could do.
Yet you have dinner and fall straight asleep only to wake up at 5am to do it all over the next day. But where’s the time for self-care? You constantly overlook that. It’s impossible to get quality alone time, you say to yourself. Even now, you’re probably stressed by the thought of making time for self-care. It just won’t fit into your schedule.
Don’t fret as all that is about to change. Today is the day you begin to take care of yourself amidst the rigours of work. But what causes workplace stress and why is it so hard to manage? Here are 5 ways to beat workplace stress along with how it manifests in the first place.
The Cause of Workplace Stress
Unbeknownst to us, the reason for workplace stress is not just in the job itself, it’s because you pay it no mind. Sure, you need to work. It pays the bills and all. But what happens if you don’t take care of yourself in the process? Wouldn’t all that emotional and physical stress pile up someday and disrupt your workflow? It will.
Too often we resign to the fact that ‘being busy’ just means work. We’ve further resigned ourself to the wrong conclusion that ‘overload is okay’ as long as its work. Sure, being busy may often mean success. Your business is in a stride: customers are trooping in; projects are being planned and executed with detail, and you have to juggle all that by doing more than you should. It’s no big deal, right? You’re making money.
Not quite. While being busy may be great for business, it also implies stress. Ironically, we’re blind to the fact. Nine out of ten workers believe stress is necessary for a successful project or business. They believe stress is a motivator and can be very helpful in the long-term profitability of their business or position. While this may be true, stress should never be allowed to continue for a long time.
To put this expository in simple words: prolonged stress is the bane of productivity. It’s a downward spiral that leads to a crash. Like it or not, at some point in your working career, you may be subject to chronic stress. How do you get past it? We’ll show you how:
How To Beat Workplace Stress
Being honest about your chronic stress levels is the key to overcoming the problem. We identify with your current situation. We’ve been there and we truly don’t want you experiencing ‘the crash’. Pay attention to the following tips as they could save you from a world of chronic stress. In no particular order…
Make sure you are in the right job
The economy isn’t smiling, we get that. But you can’t ignore the fact that too many people settle for jobs that they have no passion for whatsoever. However, it’s paramount you identify if you’re in the right job or career at this time in your life. ‘It’s a temporary gig’ is one common lie many people tell themselves before delving into a job that doesn’t excite them. You may be one of those people. You’re probably denying it, it’s fine. We can prove it. The following are signs that you’re in the right job:
- You wake up energized every morning
- You look forward to work
- You stride into the office with pleasantries for co-workers
- Time flies by
- You enjoy your time in the office
- You are super eager when handed new projects
- You are optimistic about the business’ prospects
- The company’s goals become your personal goals
- You have a fulfilling private life.
If you don’t experience any of these daily, then you’re in the wrong line of work. Life is short – do what makes you happy.
People in love with work can still get burned out and stressed. But too many times they keep their feelings to themselves and never communicate about their tiredness. If you’re the type to do battle stress in silence, it’s time to speak up. Are you burdened with projects beyond your capacity? Then, by all means, speak to your manager. No one wants a tired employee; chances are your manager will give you some time off work. If you aren’t so close to your manager, then confide in a co-worker or someone who has a pull in management. Talk to someone about your stress issues.
Take a Break
Stop staring at that blue-light monitor for too long. Your behind is practically glued to your office seat most of your office hours. You need a break because you deserve it. Maximise your lunch breaks and take a walk outside the company’s premises. Sit at a park, have some ice cream, look at nature, forget about work and just breathe in the air. Try to do this every day at work. It’ll help drive down stress.
Listen To Podcasts
On your morning commute, listen to audiobooks. Those motivational audiobooks spoken by a soothing voice – stock up on them. If you own a car and drive to work, load up one of those motivational audiobooks into your stereo. If you don’t drive, listen to a podcast. These things open your mind to a world of possibilities. They help free your mind and let you dwell on positives. At the end of each morning commute, you’ll arrive at work in a better frame of mind.
Know When Enough Is Enough
It’s okay to not work too hard. Stop over-scheduling yourself. You don’t have to spend the night at work. If your mind isn’t focused on a project, go home and have a good night sleep. You can try again in the morning with a fresh mind. Know when enough is enough, and never force it. Work isn’t going anywhere, so stop beating yourself up too much. Only work within your limits. Over time, you’ll be able to manage your stress better.
Find Out More
I hope the above tips have pointed you in the right direction when it comes to dealing with your workplace stress in a way that’s proactive and encouraging. Taking the time to reflect on the job as a whole (and if the stress is really worth it) can be challenging yet is vital to figure out how to move forward.
As a therapist and executive coach, I help clients with a variety of issues (including stress) by giving them the tools they need to move past their stumbling blocks. If you are experiencing workplace stress in London or Norwich and would like a coaching session please get in touch. I also offer virtual sessions for clients located internationally.