Coping with Stress in the Work Environment
Job stress is inevitable, no matter where you work or regardless of your position or title. However, there are ways you can cope with the various stressors that may occur. The following are a few ways to handle stress in the work environment.
Identify Personal Stressors
Figuring out what is causing your anxiety is half the battle. Keep a work journal to track those times you experienced stress in different situations and how you handled it. Did you stop and mentally count to ten? Did you take a five minute break? Have a cup of herbal tea? Determining what is causing you stress and how you resolved it can help you determine patterns as well as solutions for future reference.
With access to digital media so readily available, it is no wonder we feel pressured to be available to our employees 24/7. It is imperative that you establish boundaries between your work and personal life. This might mean to resist the urge to reply to every work email that you may receive off the clock, and refusing to answer the phone during meals or while engaged in social activities.
Everyone has different concepts as to the extent they are willing to intermingle their business and personal lives. However, it is recommended that you set some clear boundaries to reduce your anxiety level and so that you can also take time for yourself as well. You won’t be an asset to your employer if you are unable to separate your work life from your home life, nor will you be of any use to your friends and loved ones.
Communicate with your Supervisor and Co-Workers
Happy employees are more productive. It is at your supervisor’s best interest to create a happy and healthy work environment. It is important that you stay in communication with your supervisor, not to complain, but to give feedback and perhaps offer amicable solutions for managing office stress.
It is also important to have open and honest communication with your co-workers, of course keeping it professional at all times. Calmly and rationally discuss the situation and work together to find a positive solution. This can prevent unpleasant and stressful encounters and boost interoffice morale for a more pleasant office environment.
Seek Out Support
Seeking emotional support from trusted family and friends can significantly decrease your stress levels. Your company most likely has some type of stress management system in place, such as a company therapist, or at least the resources to refer you to outside counselling. Seeking professional help for stress is nothing to be ashamed of, it shows that you are making an effort to manage your stress.
Take Care of Yourself
It is crucial that you find time to relax. Make sure you are taking your vacation and personal days. Do not work if you are ill or injured. Make sure that you are eating healthy and staying hydrated. Exercise, especially if you are at a job where you are sedentary for most of the day, such as a desk job. Find ways to relax: meditation, yoga, reading, listening to music…whatever works best for you. If you don’t take care of both your physical and mental health, you won’t be doing yourself, your boss or your co workers any good. Your health should always be your first priority.