In all the economic chatter around this subject, it can be easy to forget who it’s affecting on a daily basis: you. Labor shortages cause trouble for those who are still working. There can be greater demands on your time and your mental energy.
If you’re feeling overworked, here are the best ways for managing work-related stress.
Work-related stress management techniques
There are plenty of measures you can take to learn how to manage work-related stress. The effort you put into implementing them will be worth it, ten times over.
Take advantage of your vacation and personal days
It’s well within your rights to use the time off that you’ve earned. Some companies may put pressure on you not to use them, but unless there are any official state policies about when and how to use your PTO days, it’s in your best interests to use them.
Some advice for taking vacation days: don’t treat them like a weekend. Even if you can’t travel, these days should feel like vacations, so don’t spend your extra hours running errands and getting projects done. Make your time meaningful by pampering yourself, visiting a bookstore, hanging out with a friend, shopping or the like.
Leave work at work
This is harder said than done when you’re working from home, but establishing clear boundaries between time when you’re on the clock and when you’re offline is essential. Set limits for yourself, like only working until 5pm or not checking your phone after dinner.
You owe it to yourself to recharge, and you’ll find that you’re more effective and less overwhelmed at work when you give your brain a break. If you find you’re struggling to keep boundaries firm, have a conversation with your employer about your expectations for family and personal time.
See what your employee assistance program has to offer
Many larger companies have invested in Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) for the benefit of their employees. Smaller companies may also offer EAPs or similar services. These programs exist to support workers with a variety of things, from treatment resources for addictions or aid finding childcare.
If your company has an EAP, chances are free counseling sessions are available. You can access confidential family services, mental health therapy, help with stress and time management and much more.
Take a break from screen time
If you spend the majority of your workday online, one of the best tips for managing work-related stress is to cut back on screen time during your off-hours. It’s surely tempting to want to relax with television or scroll at the end of a hard day, but too much screen exposure may have the opposite effect and add to your stress.
There are endless options for tech-free leisure activities that have more perks than surfing the internet. Try going for a walk, reading, painting, spending time with a friend, cooking or engaging in spiritual practice. It might feel tough to break the habit of watching TV nightly, but you’ll find you’re more at ease in no time.
Plan your week ahead of time
A little forethought goes a long way when it comes to scheduling your week, and there are many ways to break it down. You can organize your work tasks, plan your meals or make a self-care routine.
Taking the time to block out your schedule can also help you from unnecessary last-minute stress when you’ve realized you’re double-booked or need extra time on a project. You’ll feel like the master of your life when you organize your time and manage it well.
Reach out for help
Work-related stress management isn’t something that you’ll learn overnight, and for many people, it’s a daunting task to learn on your own. If you think you’d benefit from the expertise of trained mental health counselors, it’s a good idea to reach out for help.
An outside perspective can sometimes give you what you need to move forward. A counselor can help you understand the source of your stress, find ways to combat it and put them into action.
Don’t make managing work-related stress harder than it needs to be, check out Pyramid Online Counseling. You’ll find the compassionate care you need to be yourself again.