The amount of stress in the workplace is high and growing. According to Very Well Mind, studies show that the number of Americans who are extremely stressed at work are between 29% and 40%.
Workplace stress can be caused by a variety of factors such as disorganization, interpersonal conflict, multitasking, or physical discomfort. While it would be great to be able to eliminate stress completely, it is a more realistic approach to learn how to manage that stress and navigate your way through it!
Here are some ways you can immediate begin to manage your workplace stress:
· Start your day off right. This will include planning ahead so you are not so rushed for time in the morning. Have your clothes out and ready to put on. Set your clock so that you have plenty of time to have breakfast without rushing about. These things will help put you in a positive frame of mind to start your day.
· Get clarity on what your duties are. If your duties in the work place are unclear, it can cause confusion and stress in the environment. If you are not clear on what your responsibilities are, have a talk with your boss and get some clarity.
· Avoid conflict. Interpersonal conflict in the workplace can be like a land mine ready to explode. It can start with two people and end up all over the office. Avoid conflict by staying away from workplace gossip. Stay out of political and religious discussions, which can be divisive and even upsetting. Stay away from office troublemakers unless it involves work. If you do find yourself embroiled in a conflict at work, take measures to deal with it appropriately. Have those tough conversations and get support from your boss, if needed.
· Be comfortable. Being comfortable at work is important. It is difficult to be your best when your back is aching. Do everything you can to make yourself comfortable at work. It may mean an extra cushion for your chair or a change of shoes during the course of the day. Some people even put a small desk fan on their desk or a scented candle to be more comfortable.
· Do your best NOT to multitask. Multitasking splits your focus and the result is less accuracy in what you accomplish. It is better, when you can, to finish one task before moving on to something else. You will feel much less frazzled. You may also feel more capable and accomplished at the end of the day.
· Check your need to be a perfectionist. It is great to excel at what you do, but when you are a perfectionist in all that you do, it can be very stressful to yourself and to those around you. Just do your best and go easy on yourself. Check your self-talk and be encouraging and compassionate with yourself as much as you can.
· Take a walk during lunch. This is especially important if you have an office job and you sit all day. Going for a walk is invigorating and can help relieve some of that office stress. It is also great exercise. Even if you can’t go for a walk at lunch, fit in some stretches at your desk or go for a walk around the office at some point during the day. Even tapping your feel or shifting your stance can help. All movement matters.
Workplace stress is real and can affect one’s job performance. It can also carry over into one’s personal life. Stress can contribute to illnesses such as colds, flu, and even heart disease. Managing your stress is one of the most important things you can do for yourself!
If you have trouble managing your stress, contact a professional counselor who can help guide you along the way. There are many techniques and strategies you can learn to better manage your stress, improve your positive self-talk and increase compassion for yourself and others.