The American Institute on Stress did a study in 2006 that showed that 46% of work-related stress in the workplace was due to workload. Twenty eight percent had to do with what workers described as “people” issues while 20% was due to balancing work and personal life. Six percent described their work stress as coming from a lack of job security.
So no matter the reason, workers experience stress in one way or the other. Stress is an underlying factor for many mental health problems. Beyond mental health problems, stress can also lead to heart and metabolic problems. Stress in the workplace is a serious health problem that requires everyone’s attention.
And since finding a completely “stress-less” job is close to impossible, the best thing we can do is to learn how to manage stress so we are not swallowed by it. Here are seven strategies for managing stress in the workplace.
Get enough sleep
35% of Americans don’t get the sleep the need, a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study shows. If you are not getting enough sleep to begin with, chances are you are going to go to work feeling physically tired. Over time that exhaustion piles up and with the demands of work will increase the amount of stress you experience.
The current recommendation is that a healthy adult needs to get 7-8 hours of sleep. This might mean cutting a few things from your life- watching your favorite shows on Netflix- for instance, in order to get the sleep you need to function properly.
Eat a healthy breakfast
Food can affect your mood! Starting your day off with the proper fuel your body needs is a gift you can give yourself so that you reduce stress later on in the day.
Don’t wake up with an alarm
You might be saying, “But if I don’t wake up with an alarm, I’ll never wake up!” However this is the reality: if you are getting enough sleep, your body will naturally wake up when it is supposed to. Which means if you’re sleeping early, it is more likely that your body will wake up early, you. And besides, who wants to start the day with a mechanical device blaring loudly at them?
As you can tell, the first three points have to do with starting your day off right. The truth is that, if you start your day off right, the chances that your day will go south are greatly decreased.
Additionally, starting the day off right means, you are in a better mental place to deal with stressors more effectively during the cause of your day.
Stay comfortable at work
Bad posture can contribute to stress. If you tend to sit at a desk all day, make sure you have the back support you need. It might also be helpful to stand up each hour and walk around for about 5 minutes so that your muscles get the movement they need and don’t become stiff.
Some people have even found standing desks helpful.
Exercise is well-proven to be a stress buster. The FDA recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise daily to benefit from the effects of exercise.
It is important that you set boundaries at work especially when it comes to other people wasting your time. While we know that this is not always easy to do when it is your boss who is wasting your time, it is possible through tactical conversation to set the boundaries you need so that you can work more successfully.
Being clear on what your job description is also helps a lot in clearing up confusion as to what you should and should not be doing. Communicating correctly is key when it comes to setting boundaries.
Stay away from conflict (or resolve them quickly)
Interpersonal conflict is a notorious source of stress. If you can avoid it all together at work, please do. However, because we are human and prone to err, eventually, you might come into conflict with someone at work. Instead of dragging it out into a protracted uncomfortable situation, find a way to resolve those conflicts quickly.
The quicker they are resolved, the less stress you will experience.
Strategies For Managing Stress In The Workplace
Stress in the workplace is real. It has long-term effects on your physical and mental health if it is not dealt with. Employees and employers should be equally concerned about work-related stress because of this.
In this post, we shared 7 simple strategies for managing stress in the workplace. If you found this helpful, share it with someone else who will find it useful.