Coping with work-related stress is arguably one of the hardest and most recurrent tasks any worker gets to deal with every day. You may love your job, or have the coolest job in the world, but there will always be a challenging obligation that pressurizes you to the point of overwhelming. The most common sources of stress in the office include excessive workloads, unrealistic performance demands, unclear job descriptions, unreasonably low salaries, inadequate social support, and lack of enough support for career growth. You probably have had to deal with at least one of these workplace stressors in your career journey.
Uncontrolled stress in the office can harm your health and well-being. Workers who work under too much pressure always complain of headaches, stomachaches, and other body aches. They are unable to maintain a healthy work-life balance, so they sometimes take out their stress on family members and friends- they have a short temper. When the stress becomes chronic, these workers are unable to sleep well at night, they get difficulties in concentrating, they eat unhealthy, they become alcoholics, and some use drugs. Such a lifestyle can lead to heightened anxiety, weakened immunity system, high blood pressure, depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
With that in mind, how can you reduce or cope with work-related stress? Here are 5 helpful tips:
1. Make your mornings positive
Mornings are always chaotic especially for working parents. You have to feed the kids and prepare them for school and then deal with traffic, which makes your morning bad enough even before getting to work. When you get to work, you find deadlines waiting for you and a boss who is always on your case. The day is ruined as early as 9 in the morning.
To ensure that your day isn’t ruined by stressful mornings, you need to start off your morning right. Start by waking up early, meditating, exercising, eating a healthy breakfast with family, and making peace with your life. Tell everyone in the home that you love them and wish them a great day in order to cultivate a positive attitude. Don’t let road rage ruin your mood. Be nice and polite to people. When you get to work, take time to plan your day; prioritize tasks and get your schedule in order. By the time you start your first task or meeting, your mind will be clear and ready for whatever the job throws at you during the day.
2. Make the place habitable
If you are the boss, you need to make the office habitable for all workers. Note that a stressful work environment cannot be productive. So, ensure that there are healthy snacks in the office, the temperature is habitable, the office layout is functional and supportive of effective employee engagement, and the colors are warm and calming. Invest in quality grow lights to ensure that the office plants are healthy and beautiful. If you haven’t brought in live plants yet, please do so ASAP because nature is known to take people’s mind off of their stress.
3. Take charge of each situation
Human beings are wired to operate on confidence, so you need to be confident in everything you do, no matter what the situation is. Note that the stress hormone is activated when you tell your brain that you have lost control of a situation. If you know for sure that you cannot control a situation, just let it go and make peace with it before it damages your confidence.
4. Take stress-relief breaks
Stress will eventually get to you no matter how hard you try to avoid it. However, when it does, you should not allow it to consume you. Take stress-relief breaks once in a while. You can decide to go on vacation at least once a year, take a nap every day after lunch, or go for massage after a stressful day at work. If you are the boss, allow your employees to have a field day at least once a week. That is the day you let them work as they please provide the weekly deadlines are met. You don’t call for meetings, send memos, or do anything that can overwhelm employees or cause panic in the office.
5. Make more friends and no enemies
Have a trusted friend at the workplace with whom you can confide in whenever you feel overwhelmed. But one friend isn’t enough if you are at loggerheads with everyone else. Ensure that you keep off any interpersonal conflicts in the office. When conflict finds you anyway, be wise not to create enemies in the process of resolving it.
Always strive to create a good working environment for yourself, even as much as you expect your bosses and colleagues to make things work for everyone. After work, ensure that you cultivate healthy relationships, eat well, sleep well, and exercise so that you can always have a supportive community to get home to after a stressful day.