Stress and coping at work? Top tips
Bluetree intern and aspiring psychologist Maddy Lykourgos runs through how to cope with work stress..
We’ve all experienced stress at one time or another, especially at work. It can be due to anything from a low salary, to a lack of support and excessive workload; that overwhelming feeling that there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. In amongst all the pressures to meet deadlines and adhere to career demands, it is easy to forget that life goes on outside the office. Unfortunately, when unmanaged, work-related stress can become chronic and can persist into daily life. Although work stress is often unavoidable, there are some small ways to try and cope with it and to limit its impact.
Don’t take on too much.
We forget that it’s normal to be overwhelmed by a heavy workload and that it’s sometimes okay to say no. In high pressure situations, try to remember that you still need to keep yourself well. There are increasing burnout rates across many industries, so staying happy and working is always preferable to the alternative, even if it means not volunteering yourself for extra credit tasks. Yes, sometimes we find ourselves needing to prove our worth in employment, so declining tasks might seem unnatural at first, but long-term it can be imperative to our efficiency. It is in your supervisor’s best interest to have healthy and happy employees that are working more productively, so try turning to them for support.
Tip: This can be particularly useful if you have tracked the exact stressors that make your time ineffective and present solutions to your manager
Leave work at the office- where it belongs!
The work-life balance is not a myth! Give yourself time to switch off. That goes for setting boundaries in an era where technology knows no office hours. Not checking emails after leaving work or while on holiday is just a small way of trying to stop your workload affecting other domains of your life. Take the time to recharge and relax. Fill your non-working hours doing things that that you enjoy with people you’re not paid to sit next to.
Monitor your stress-response.
When stress levels rise, it is often the case that people find comfort in the local pub or fast food joint. However, condemning your physical health is hardly the best way to promote positive wellbeing. Instead, try getting a hobby that is the polar opposite to your line of work, or something that involves being active in some way. However dissatisfying it might feel at first, exercise is a great way to spend free time while releasing endorphins that actively combat stress. Breathing exercises are also a good way to keep yourself in check if you feel pressures rising.
Tip: Stretching- by starting at your toes and working your way up the body, tense the muscles, hold for a few seconds and release to relieve the tension that builds up.
If you feel like your stress is becoming harder to handle and it is particularly alarming then please contact us for more advice on how to manage it. Stress takes an unfortunate toll on the body, so it’s never too late to learn new ways of dealing with it.
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