6 Steps to Distance Yourself from Work-Related Stress

Pyramid Online Counseling      Mental Health  
fighting work related stress

If this year is well-known for anything, it’s likely for installing more stress into daily life than ever ever asked for. For so many individuals this year, work itself has brought about more stress than satisfaction. Whether because of job security, overall workload, the novelty of the work-from-home environment or stress from management that seems to always reach your desk, it’s an undeniable fact: work-related stress is debilitating.

Fighting off work-related stress works best when you understand where it comes from. After all, one of the first steps in self-defense is understanding the opposition. Especially in the wake of COVID-19, there are so many work-related reasons to feel new levels of stress. 

This extensive list of work-related stressors includes:

  • Longer hours
  • Unrealistic or uncommunicated expectations from management
  • More intense workloads
  • Uninteresting daily tasks
  • Unavailable tools required to complete the job
  • A lack of required job training
  • Absence of workplace comradery
  • Minimal chances for promotion

If you’ve experienced one or more of these workplace stress-inducing factors, you know how quickly they can bring your day to a grinding halt. It’s important to be aware of these moments and mentally (or physically) prepare accordingly.   

1. Stay organized

You’ll be amazed how much more prepared you’ll be for the day if you can spend even 5-10 minutes preparing beforehand. Structure the day’s schedule, prioritize urgent tasks over items with longer deadlines, and identify moments during the day when you can afford to take breaks. 

By keeping your own responsibilities organized, your thoughts straight and clear and your action-items on a productive checklist, you can keep yourself accountable and well-prepared for any unexpected questions about the work you’ve been assigned. 

Additionally, do the heavy lifting first. By completing the harder tasks when you’re fresh, you’ll have more drive and more energy, and you won’t find yourself burnt out at the end of the day with any sizable projects hanging over your head.

2. Take Action

Once you’ve identified the root of your stress, do something about it! Take time to brainstorm ways to reduce your stress. Maybe sharing lunch time with a difficult coworker is too much for you. Ask for a slight schedule change. Maybe your supervisor’s expectations don’t line up with the work you were actually hired to do. Pursue compromise there. You likely won’t be able to immediately remove all of the stress-causing factors in your workplace, but it’s up to you to identify ways to mitigate them.

3. Communicate

If you’re stressed at work, tell someone. Talk to a trusted friend or family member – they might be able to offer you a new perspective or fresh tips for controlling stress. Sometimes, all you need is a listening ear. If you need to talk to an HR representative or your supervisor for direct intervention, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. 

The most important thing to remember is this: if you don’t tell anyone you’re stressed, no one will know and no one can help. Simply addressing the problem may be much more effective in solving the issue than you thought was possible.

4. Leave work at work

Leaving work at work is easier said than done, especially with how many people are currently working from home. However, it’s one of the most important mental accomplishments to achieve. Not only will you be un-bothered about that meeting tomorrow during family dinner, but you’ll be able to be fully present at your son’s soccer game or your daughter’s dance recital. This sounds ideal, but is it achievable? Absolutely. 

Don’t check your work email at home, or after work hours. Just don’t. Sign off when your workday ends, and don’t sign on until the following morning unless there’s an emergency.

Start by creating tomorrow’s to-do list today, while still at work. That way, you won’t spend the evening stressing about everything you need to accomplish the following day.

5. Set boundaries

If you find your coworkers or manager constantly calling you after working hours, leisure time suddenly turns into work time. Even worse, guilt creeps in when you don’t pick up that call – even though it’s well past the end of the work day. Setting clear boundaries and communicating those boundaries to coworkers and employers alike is critical when it comes to preserving mental health, and fighting off after-work stress.

6. Professional help to put stress in its place

Setting boundaries around work time and personal time, establishing open communication with employers and peers and leaving work at work are all positive steps to help fight work-related stress. If you still find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious, it might be time to talk with someone who can offer professional help. At Pyramid Online Counseling, our licensed counselors provide you with concrete, achievable steps to help you reduce your stress. Schedule your first appointment with one of our counselors today, after browsing profiles and finding the right healthcare professional for you. Take the first steps toward controlling work-related stress like never before, thanks to help from licensed therapists.

What is Solution-Focused Therapy?

Pyramid Online Counseling      Treatment & Therapy  
solution focused therapy

No matter the individual challenges we face, life is not without its inevitable challenges. Even though difficulties can often arise randomly or without cause, solutions are usually deliberate. In fact, rising above life’s issues usually means recognizing problems for what they are and developing strategies to productively counter them.

That’s exactly what solution-focused therapy helps you accomplish: goal-oriented, evidence-based thinking that promotes change through focus on solutions, not problems. This isn’t to minimize the weight of any issues we face; rather, solution-focused therapy helps clients by encouraging them to focus on concrete, short-term changes to be made that can yield large dividends in how we think, feel and cope.

Especially if you find yourself wrestling with behavioral or mental health issues, solution-focused therapy can help you establish a plan to manage grief and loss, depression, anxiety, co-occurring disorders and more. First, solution-focused therapy helps you look to the future, to envision yourself once again fulfilling the healthy, happy lifestyle you once enjoyed, before outlining steps you can pursue to reach that point while managing challenges.

Solution-focused therapy goals

Solution-focused therapy can be used alongside other treatment modalities, addressing issues like child behavioral problems, abuse, family dysfunction and relationship problems, as well as common, everyday stressors. Solution-focused therapy for couples, families or individuals can aid in actualizing relationship and family goals.

Therapists or psychiatrists trained to practice solution-focused therapy look to minimize the time a patient spends in therapy by focusing on what the patient can do, rather than what they can’t. They help you see all of the aspects of your life you still govern, emphasizing your capacity for change over any aspects of life beyond your control. Guiding the patient to work toward solutions and insight, therapists utilize solution-focused techniques while helping the individual define goals and establish a realistic plan for the future.

For example, in addressing specific problems, therapists find individual instances and periods of time in the patient’s life where that problem was managed well, and then break down down how the patient can mimic that action plan in future scenarios. 

Solution-focused therapy operates under the assumption that change is possible. In helping clients find resources and strength to pursue solutions to their problems, therapists help to put patients in control of their own futures.

Solution-focused interventions

Solution-focused therapists encourage their patients through difficulties, and take the time to celebrate success while employing several solution-focused techniques.

Miracle question: Patients are asked to imagine that a miracle occurred, and their problems are no longer affecting their lives. What does that look like? How is their life better or different? By imagining this scenario, patients can visualize a desired future. With the end goal in mind, they can start to build a path forward and believe in the possibility of achieving their desired future. If an individual has difficulty in looking that far ahead, the therapist asks the patient to share their “best hopes” for the future; more focused questions like “What is your best hope for today?” or “What is a good indicator that shows you are progressing?” help the client restore control over their daily output.

Coping question: This type of question is meant to reveal to the patient how strong and resilient they are. The individual is asked to think about how they fulfill obligations and how they persevere despite difficulties that arise.

Exception question: With an exception question, the therapist asks the individual to think of times when their problems were not able to affect them, asking such questions as “When are you happiest?” This keeps the patient focused on the positive and what they’ve already done to achieve those good things in their lives. 

Scaling question: Patients are asked to rank their problems on a scale of 0 to 10, taking into consideration how the problem is affecting them, how confident they are that change can happen and how they think they are progressing. This question helps gauge an individual’s confidence and motivation, giving the therapist guiding posts for future sessions. 

Patients are also asked to evaluate their own progress at the end of each session, going back over their goals with the therapist, re-evaluating the steady steps they’ve already taken and remaining positive about overcoming problems in the future.

How solution-focused therapy can change your life for the better

Solution-focused therapy can provide individual excellent insight into how your life can improve, simply by taking advantage of the skills and opportunities available to you. Solution-focused therapy techniques are designed to keep therapy short-term and results-oriented, so that you can start living life to the fullest as quickly as possible. Patients and therapists decide together how long sessions should last and how long therapy should continue. When clients approach each session with the desire for a better future, goals can be set, progress can be made and change can be actualized.

We encourage you to take steps toward your ideal future today; it’s as easy as scheduling your first solutions-focused therapy session through Pyramid Online Counseling. Browse counselor profiles, choose the right therapist for you and begin your therapy journey on your own time, in your own home.