Workplace stress can arise at any time — busy seasons, tough clients and co-worker relationships are common culprits. Left unmanaged, this stress can seep out of the office and into your personal life. The right coping strategies can help you ride out a tough period at work without sacrificing your mental health or professional performance.
1. Get Some Sleep
When you're stressed at work, it can affect your sleep — and a lack of sleep often causes more workplace stress. To put an end to this cycle and stay healthy, make sleep a priority. An hour before bed, put away all work, turn off your devices and take time to wind down. Watch a favorite TV show, read a book or try taking a bath to relax. A few nights of solid sleep can do wonders for your attitude and concentration.
2. Prioritize Your To-Do List
An overloaded to-do list can be paralyzing. If you find yourself getting off track or spending too much time on busy work, prioritizing can help. Organize your list of tasks, putting the most important items at the top. Break large projects into smaller milestones. This list keeps you on track and helps you stay on top of deadlines, even when work is crazy.
3. Take Time for Yourself
During times of intense workplace stress, it can be tempting to work around the clock. When you do, your brain is constantly in gear, and the quality of your work can suffer. Taking time for yourself is crucial during busy times — it gives your mind and body time to relax and reset. Play with your kids, take a small weekend getaway or simply enjoy a hard workout at the gym. Afterward, you can go back to work feeling fresh.
4. Create a Comfortable Space
When you're overloaded with workplace stress, small discomforts can add to the pressure. You can help by creating a comfortable workspace. Replace your old, creaky chair with a soft new model, or wear noise-canceling headphones to block out noise. You might even bring in a cozy sweater and slippers to wear in your office. Small luxuries can go a long way toward comforting you, which makes the stress easier to bear.
5. Have Fun With Colleagues
It's easier to deal with workplace stress when you're on good terms with your colleagues. When things start to ramp up at work, make a point to have fun. Schedule a team happy hour mid-week, for example, or do a lunch potluck once a week. Even small gestures, such as sharing a funny video with your co-workers, can bring extra laughter and positivity into the office.
6. Try Meditating
The next time your job feels overwhelming, meditation can help. Take a few minutes, close your eyes and meditate. You can focus on a single mantra, such as "I am calm," or simply focus on clearing your mind of all thoughts. Need guidance? Try a meditation app on your phone. Although it seems counterintuitive to stop working in the middle of a busy day, a few minutes of peace can leave you feeling fresh and ready to keep going.
If you're like many professionals, workplace stress is inevitable. By finding coping strategies that work for you, you can stay calm and centered.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net