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How to Manage Stress at Work

We hope you’re all feeling rested after the long weekend, not least because April was Stress Awareness Month. Nobody sent the government the memo though, since it was also the month that everyone’s taxes and bills went up!

Unless your name is Jeff Lebowski, you probably don’t lead a stress-free life, and most people regularly encounter stressful situations. It can become a problem however when stress becomes constant, or too intense to handle. As well as leaving you feeling burnt out and frustrated, this can have a knock-on effect on your physical health. We can’t always control the things that cause us stress, but there are some ways in which you can mitigate the effects of high-stress situations.

Write down your stressors

If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, it’s good to write down a list of the things that trigger your stress, and the ways they make you feel. Keeping note of your feelings like this helps you track the biggest causes of your stress, and may surprise you, revealing things you hadn’t considered as major stressors.

Take time to recharge

Even, perhaps especially, during a busy workday, it’s important to schedule some time to recharge. 5 minutes to yourself can make a world of difference by allowing you to collect your thoughts and helping you to calm down during a stressful day. If your shift is longer than six hours, you’re legally entitled to a break, but sometimes it’s important just to take a few minutes to breathe before beginning your next task.

Work-Life Balance

Setting clear boundaries, not making yourself available 24/7, and scheduling time to spend with friends and family are all good ways to prevent stress from building up. Oftentimes, we can become stressed when expectations are placed on us that we feel unable to meet, so carving out a proper work-life balance can help you to manage the expectations both yourself and others set for you at work.

Look after your physical health

You don’t have to become a fitness guru to beats stress. But just as stress can impact your physical health, so too can looking after your body help improve your mental health. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleep hygiene can all help you to feel better, even through the most stressful of times. Experts recommend that we get at least 15-20 minutes of exercise per day, so even if it’s just a brisk walk on your lunch break, maintaining a few healthy habits will help keep your body and mind sharp.

Speak to your colleagues and supervisors

If you’re experiencing stress at work regularly, it may be a sign of a deeper problem. If your colleagues experience similar feelings, try talking to them about your workloads and work environment. As before, it can often help to write down a list of stressors and how they make you feel. See if you can brainstorm any potential solutions to alleviate the stress and present them to managers. A good supervisor should want to help you solve these problems.

Leave a toxic workplace behind

If the above methods still leave you feeling stressed or burnt out, and you are unable to reconcile this with management, it may be time to look for a new job. No career is worth sacrificing your health and happiness for, and it’s important to know when to walk away from a role that’s doing you more harm than good. Although looking for a new job is never easy, in the long run, it’s better than holding out in a place that’s not right for you.

If you’re thinking it might be time to make that move, let Stroud Resourcing help you find your dream job, and get in touch today.

For more resources on stress management, check out Mind.Org’s fantastic pamphlets on work and mental health.

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