How to Handle Workplace Stress

Tara Klein
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Job related stress is something that everyone experiences and it seems to be on the rise. In fact, in a recent study nearly two-thirds of employees say their stress levels are higher than they were five years ago. And further, most of those stressed employees responded that it had affected their personal relationships and their sleep. 

Stress in the workplace can vary for everyone, but the most common causes are:

1. Workload

2. Lack of support

3. Frequent Changes

4. Conflicting expectations

5. No opportunity for growth

6. Fear of losing your job

Stress at work, whatever triggers it, can have effects on all aspects of your life. Stress can contribute to productivity issues at work, have a negative impact on your health and wellness, and cause problems in your personal life. Knowing that, it is important to have ways to manage the stress.

Utilize your support system

It's important to have a support system - both personally and professionally to lean on when things get to be too much. Sometimes the best thing to help with stress is to talk to someone else. Keeping your feelings in will cause them to build and get worse. Find coworkers or friends that you can open up to and explain what you're dealing with. If you are feeling the pressure at the office, it is likely that someone else is too.

Take extra care of your mind and your body

When we are stressed, it is easy to fall into bad habits of eating. Instead of making nutritious decisions, we tend to go for the most convenient options. Make sure you are eating whole foods, drinking enough water, and avoiding too much caffeine. Getting some exercise can go a long way to relieve stress. We know that every time we exercise our brain releases feel good chemicals, so it is important to do something - walk, run, dance. It will help reduce the stress, increase energy, and relax your body. And, of course, make sure you are getting enough quality sleep. Create a nightly routine that improves sleep: shut down screens and do something quiet and relaxing to unwind before getting well needed shut-eye.

Set Healthy Boundaries

In the modern workplace, with many people working remotely or at the least constantly connected to emails, it can be difficult to get a real break from work. This can increase stress and ensure that we are never able to completely relax. It is important that you meet your deadlines and manage your responsibilities, but it is also critical to your well-being that you shut down sometimes. It can be helpful to set starting and stopping times so that you can take time for yourself and your personal life. Allow yourself some short breaks during the day to go for a short walk or mediate for a few minutes. Giving yourself real breaks will make sure when you start back up your mind is ready.

There are times when stress at work is good, and it can challenge and push you to succeed. But there are other times when the stress is negative and can become too much. Being able to identify your stress triggers and manage that stress is important to your long-term success. Take time to find the balance between work and your own well-being. You cannot always control circumstances at work or in life, but you can manage how you respond and deal with it.


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  • MARK G.
    MARK G.


  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    If you can, go for a relaxing drive. It's funny but this works too, take a deep breath or two and close your eyes when you do it. I had a doctors appointment a while back and my blood pressure was high. The nurse told me to take a deep breath with my eyes closed and it worked. My blood pressure went down and I was fine after a few minutes.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the great comments. @Rich M - totally agree. It is very relaxing to hold a book in your hands - to physically turn the pages instead of swiping a screen. And music is good - any time - as long as it's relaxing music. @John N. - thanks for the tips!!

  • John N.
    John N.

    Find a job you enjoy doing. Take the breaks your employer provides. Take lunch away from your desk. Do what you can in a day. Don't take work home with you. Work will be there tomorrow. Talk with the people you work with about ways to do your job.

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    I find that reading a book, one you hold in your hands no online or kindle type, is very relaxing. Turning a page of the physical item is better after looking at a screen all day of your computer. A little music, records, radio, or cds also help. And no caffeine before bed would help with your sleep. And do what it says in the article. I'm no doctor, but just think what you can do to relax yourself and do it.

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