Every one faces workplace stress. Even when you work for yourself, you may still need to learn to manage work stress. It does not matter whether you love what you do or that you find fulfilment, stress can still get to you from deadlines or excessive workload or even inefficient colleagues. Your stress may come from low pay, lack of growth, monotonous work, conflicting demands and expectations from clients or superiors. The list is almost endless.
If you do not manage work stress, you may begin to damage your emotional and physical health.
How to manage work stress
- Know thy stressors
The first key to managing work stress is to identify the elements causing your stress. It has been mentioned earlier that several things can cause stress at work, including low pay, conflicting demands, un-cooperating team members and so on. Once you have identified these sources, you can then start to strategise your response.
- Exercise and healthy activities
Exercise is a tried and tested stress release mechanism. How often do you exercise? Other healthy activities that you can use to counterwork stress is yoga, taking midday walks, fishing, dancing and even singing. They give you an outlet when done consistently as pauses to your work activities.
- Work-life balance
Your work-life balance is important. Have a life outside of work and pay attention to your life outside work as much as you pay attention to work. Spell out boundaries and stick to the boundaries. Thus, you may decide not to take work home, or not check your emails on Saturdays.
A great work-life balance means that you can leave work at work, and you are not under the pressure of work every waking moment.
- Turn off work and recharge
There will be times when the work will be overwhelming and even be threatening to your sanity. It is normally advisable to shut work down for at least some minutes and recharge. Recharge can be anything from watching a funny Falz skit to taking a walk or grabbing a sausage. It may also mean taking a day to visit family or a week-long vacation. Whatever works.
- Get Support
Sometimes, what you need to do is to talk to someone. Let them be your outlet, discuss your stressors and your responses. This talk unburdens you, and you may feel like the weight of the world off your shoulders when you do talk. The talk could be with family members, friends, colleagues or even professionals in extreme cases.
Also, you can talk to your superiors at work or even the colleagues and subordinates who are the sources of your stress. Tactically trying to help them help you manage work stress.
- Stay away from conflicts
In some work environments, it may be impossible to stay away from conflicts entirely. However, you should stay away from encounters that lead to conflicts as much as is possible. Identifying your stressors can help you stay away from conflicts and may even help you see such situations in advance.
- Set clear requirements
Setting clear goals and requirements for yourself either based on your boss’ or clients ‘needs can help you manage stress better. Your work is more organised and reduces as you can measure achievements and strategise on improvements where there is such a need.
- Be comfy
It is very important to be comfortable while at work if you want to manage work stress. As much as it is important to look good, do not sacrifice comfort for looking good. Find effective ways to combine both. Also, eat well, take care of your health and use comfortable furniture. A desk that’s too high or a chair that’s wobbly can increase your stress levels without you knowing.
Stress is a result of negative pressure. Managing work stress can often be done with the simple solutions listed above. However, if the above does not work or you suspect that the stress already affects your mental health, do not hesitate to see a professional.
Join our list
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.