“Choose a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Because passion is the fuel behind every successful career.”
Working and hanging out with colleagues are all fun until work-related stress hits you like a truck. One day you’re just sitting at your desk, doing the job you love, then the next thing you know, you already lost the drive to work because of extreme pressure and chronic stress.
Work-related stress can be harmful to your physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s important to manage the stressful elements so you can both achieve your career growth and personal goals.
Common reasons of stress at work:
- Excessive workload
- Unrealistic deadline and expectations
- Compensation issues or low salary
- Lack of career growth and opportunities
- Not having enough challenge due to repetitive routines
- Toxic or inharmonious relationship with colleagues & superiors
- No control or freewill over job-related decisions
- Insufficient social support
Tips to manage stress at work
Always start your day right
Sometimes, stress at work doesn’t really come from work. It could be arguing with your partner at home before going to the office, rushing the kids to school because they’re already late, dealing with road rage due to traffic, feeling hungry because you didn’t have breakfast, or accidentally spilling coffee on your clothes due to multitasking. And these are just few of the reasons that can ruin your day, making you more reactive to stress at work.
The best way to avoid these is proper time management and planning. Plan every night on what you need to do the next day. Always separate your home and work tasks. You can set an alarm, or establish a daily morning checklist to avoid rushing and mixing up stuff.
And don’t forget to eat a nutritious breakfast! Never go to work with an empty stomach.
Identify your stressors
Every problem has a solution. If there’s no solution, then there’s no need to worry about it.
Therefore, it’s necessary to identify the things that’s causing you stress in order to find solutions for each one. This will also help you handle your emotions so you can respond to things and people more carefully.
Avoid the perfectionism trap
Being a goal-getter and high-achiever is great. These characteristics may help you excel not just at work, but also in general aspects of life.
However, being a perfectionist can lead to overthinking, negative energy, and extreme pressure. The best way to deal with the perfectionism trap is to allow yourself to make mistakes, learn how to take criticism, and create more reasonable goals.
Remember, focus on the progress, not perfection.
Do you sometimes feel irritated or uncomfortable at work that it affects your performance and mood? One reason could be improper posture.
Sore back, muscle aches, and stiff joints occur when you have prolonged poor sitting position. So it’s good to have a comfy office chair that supports your neck, shoulders, and back.
Office noise and messy desks can be distracting too, causing low productivity and loss of focus. For this, you can talk to your co-workers to minimize the noise, and try to declutter your desk every once in a while.
If there are certain noises that are unavoidable, such as noisy-malfunctioning equipment, nearby construction, or other ambient noises, put on your earphones and listen to calming music. You can also try noise-cancelling headphones.
No matter how comfortable you are at work and with your work friends, it’s still a must to establish boundaries.
Know the most appropriate time to chit chat so you can all focus on your tasks to avoid being swamped by deadlines.
It’s also important to develop the habit of ‘staying out of the gossip mill’. This will avoid conflict among colleagues that can lead to unhealthy workplace.
Get some support
You cannot control everything around you. Even though you tried your best to stay away from work-related stress, it will still find its way to you. Instead of dwelling on it too much, see it as a challenge. And challenges will help you become stronger and wiser.
Get support by talking to your supervisor. Explain to them what’s causing your stress so you can both find solutions. This can be difficult to do, especially when you’re the timid employee who doesn’t like expressing things verbally..
As mentioned earlier, you cannot control everything around you. But talking to your superiors can lead to positive changes not just to you, but also to people around you at work. All parties can learn from each other, which can establish a healthier working environment.
Keeping in touch with your family and trusted friends will help you deal with stressful work situations, too.
Master the art of work-life balance
The secret to a healthy and happy life is finding the right balance in everything you do. And when it comes to balance, it’s not something you can easily find. You have to create and establish it properly.
Know when to work, and when to spend time with your family. Know when to have fun, and when to work hard on your tasks.
If you’re reporting every day in the office, do your best to finish your tasks and deadlines so you don’t have to bring them home. That way, you’ll focus more on your family. If you can’t finish everything in the office, do it the next day. And to avoid being caught up in stressful deadlines, learn how to manage your time and responsibilities at work.
After working hard, take time to recharge and relax. During your vacation leave or day off, do something you love or explore a new place.
A gentle reminder for you:
Nothing is permanent in this world, even stress will eventually go away. So just smile, breathe, and divert your energy to something positive.