Your Guide to Managing Work-Related Stress

4.6 min read|918 words|Categories: Mental Health|
Silhouette of stressed businesswoman in the office.

Work-related stress is becoming more and more commonplace in our workplace culture. Overtime, high expectations, and limited staffing compounds this issue until it feels like it’s too much to bear. Take control over your work-related stress by following these tips.

Use your vacation time

One of the best ways of dealing with work-related stress and anxiety is to step away from work entirely, even if only for a day. Whether you actually go on vacation or just plan a personal day full of all of your favorite things, allow yourself to take a break from your work. Don’t forget, you are entitled to take your vacation time, so you should not feel guilty about taking a couple of days off.

Don’t bring your work home with you

It has become increasingly more difficult to know how to deal with work-related stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly if you have been working from home. When your workplace is your home and your home is your workplace, it can feel as though you are always – or always should be – available for whatever your work needs at any time. This can contribute to constant stress and anxiety, because you will always be thinking about work.

To counter this feeling, refrain from bringing your work home with you, physically and mentally. If you work in a physical location, leave your laptop, paperwork and any other projects at work; they can wait until tomorrow. If you work remotely, make a designated “office” space in your home, even if it’s just a tiny corner in your living room or bedroom. Do all of your work at this space, and when you log off for the day, leave all of your work there. Working from your bed or the couch may be more comfortable, but you may begin to associate those spaces in your home with your work-related stress.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Build trust and relationships with your coworkers, as they can serve as a support network of folks who intimately understand your work-related stress. If you are feeling stressed because you’re not sure how to complete a certain task, ask one of your coworkers who might be more familiar. If you’re feeling burned out because of your workload, ask your manager if it would be possible to transfer some of the balance among the team.

Utilize your employee assistance program

An employee assistance program (EAP) is a service offered by employers for the benefit of your employees. EAPs can provide free and confidential mental health counseling, family services, addiction counseling, stress and time management, career counseling, financial counseling and more. Check with your employer to see if an EAP is available to you as part of your benefits package.

Set boundaries

Remember that you do not exist for the sole purpose of going to work; likewise, your job is not your entire identity. Strike a healthy work-life balance by keeping your work at work; don’t bring your personal life into the office, and don’t let work get in the way of enjoying your hobbies or time with friends and family.

A work-life balance can be achieved by:

  • Not being responsive while on vacation. During your personal time off, don’t feel pressured to answer work-related calls or emails. You have earned your vacation time and deserve to enjoy it.
  • Keeping your work emails separate from your personal email. Remove your work email from your personal device, and resist the urge to quickly check your email in the evenings or on the weekend.
  • Taking the full time you are allotted for breaks and lunchtime. Treat breaks as a mini vacation and refrain from doing any work. If another employee approaches you in the break room during your lunch hour, kindly let them know you are taking your lunch and will be available to help when you are finished.
  • Not talking about work when you are not at work. The more you talk about work, the more you will think about it, and the more it will become part of your daily life and identity.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a meditation practice that strives to help you feel more in tune with your thoughts and feelings while grounding yourself during stressful times. In an ideal world, work-related stress symptoms would vanish the moment you stepped out of the office. This, unfortunately, is not the case for most people. Work-related stress and anxiety can affect all aspects of your life. Racing thoughts and excessive worry can prevent you from getting a restful night of sleep; a spiked heart rate and hyperventilation can make you feel on-edge, even if you are not at work. Though these symptoms may stem from work-related stress they need to be treated holistically.

Plan out your projects

Make daily and weekly to-do lists with manageable, attainable goals. Work will feel less daunting when you know exactly what is ahead of you, and formulating timelines and plans for each project may help to alleviate work-related stress. Make sure to also discuss expectations with your manager, both as an employee and for each project, so that you are set up for success from the beginning.

Consider going to counseling

Pyramid Online Counseling offers teletherapy through a secure platform for those experiencing work-related stress and anxiety. Counseling can provide you with additional coping skills for present and future incidents of work-related stress. Get help today by reaching out at 833-525-3077.

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