It’s the end of the year and I cannot wait for my week and a half off! This year has had some many ups and downs – from moving from Boston and starting a new job, to navigating my way out of an extremely toxic relationship and finding a better one. I swear 2020 was the year for ultimate growth – but one thing that’s been consistent throughout most of the year? Work Stress.
Some people handle work stress better than others – I like to think I have a good hold on it, but sometimes I let it control my day. The first thing to do before trying to fix work stress, is acknowledging that it is a thing! We spend so much time at work, a majority of our lives, that it just seems normal at some point. Guess what? It’s not. Yes, some stress is good. It means you’re invested in reaching a goal and motivated to do it. When that stress reaches a higher level and it becomes unmaintainable, then your productivity will plummet. You want to avoid that at all costs.
Finding the line being highly productivity and stress related burn out is tough in the work place, especially in highly competitive environments. Once you’ve acknowledged that work stress is 100% the problem, here are some ways to help you decompress and keep your sanity.
Figure Out What Is Causing Your Work Stress
Work Stress can come from various different sources – figuring out what is causing the stress can help you better understand how to control it and also how to navigate your way out of it. Sometimes we get stressed over things that just aren’t worth it, you need to understand the root or the problem to know how to fix it. Maybe you have a micro-managing boss who is always nagging in your ear. Maybe you set unrealistic daily expectations for yourself and struggle to reach your goals every day. It could be that you are just unhappy at work. The list really could go on forever – every industry and job title has its own pressures and stress that come along with the territory.
Once you understand why your work stress is getting to a crazy point, you can start to develop a plan to fix it. Try to solve something that you don’t know the basis of can be tough, all the wine and essential oils can’t solve a problem if you don’t know why you have it.
Work Breaks Into Your Daily Schedule
Staring at your computer or working yourself to the bone for 8 hours straight doesn’t do anyone good. If you find yourself stressed from work, give yourself time regularly to take a break. Make sure you respect this time! Don’t go and book meetings or schedule tasks during your free time.
Breaks help with your productivity and your focus. Stepping away helps clear your mind and gives you a chance to look at things with fresh eyes. A task that was once daunting might not be as bad at second glance. Allowing yourself 5-10 minutes to get away from work, wether it be a task or a person, can help save your entire day.
Ask For Help
This is tough for a lot of people, myself included. Remember this – asking for help does not mean defeat. Asking for help doesn’t show weakness, it simply means that you need help! Most of the time, others are more than ready to assist a helping hand. If your work stress is coming from a place of unpreparedness or being unsure, asking for help can change your life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from higher ups or peers – It’s a lot more beneficial to get the task done right first than to be told that it’s wrong and you have to re-do everything. Whatever you need help with just be vocal about it – everyone has been new or a beginner at some point. If you are confused, don’t know where to start, don’t know how to work something, not sure what to do next, don’t give up on it completely. Ask for help!
If You Need To Vent, Don’t Vent To A Co-Worker
If you have stress from work, chances are some of your co-workers do too. You should refrain at all costs from venting to them. Call your friends or your family. Talking about work stress to co-workers can open a can of worms when it comes to office drama and things getting re-told to people who shouldn’t hear them. You really just don’t want to go there. But why is this important to handling stress?
When you start venting with a co-worker, it will continue. It can become part of your every day to complain about how stressed you are and how miserable you can be. It takes time out of your day to finish your work and it puts a lot of negative energy in the air. Instead of talking to someone in your office or organization, try calling a close friend or family member. They’ll be totally unbiased, let you get whatever you have to off your chest and then go on with your day. It will only occur the next time you call or talk to them about it. Venting is so necessary and can help with controlling and decompressing stress from work – just make sure you are venting to the right people!
Stop Working At The Same Time Every Day, Don’t Overwork.
This might be a reason because I need to hear this… I work 12/13 hour days normally and it really takes a toll. Overworking might not be bad the first or second time, but it takes a mental and physical toll if it becomes a reoccuring issue. Letting work take over your life can be pretty negative toward your overall well-being. A way to combat this is to set a time that you can stop working and call it a day, don’t look back.
I totally get that some jobs you can’t do this and that some people have to be available 24/7. For situations like this, make sure your time off is your time off. Bringing work to days off makes work an around the clock event. If you can’t be done at a certain time then it is incredibly important to maximize your time off. Separate yourself from work and help get a head of your work stress!
I hope this was helpful! What are some ways that you handle work stress?