Sunday, April 14, 2024

Effective Ways To Manage Workplace Stress

Are you feeling stressed at work? You’re not alone. Workplace stress is a common issue that affects millions of people across the globe. 

Whether it’s a heavy workload, tight deadlines, or conflicts with coworkers, stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health. However, there are ways to manage stress in the workplace that can help you feel more relaxed and productive.

In this article, we’ll explore five effective strategies for managing stress in the workplace. We’ll cover how to identify stress triggers and adopt healthy coping strategies, as well as how to create a supportive work environment and implement time management techniques. By following these tips, you can reduce your stress levels and improve your overall wellbeing at work.

Key Takeaways:

  • Identify your stress triggers and take steps to avoid or minimise them.
  • Adopt healthy coping strategies, such as exercise, meditation, or talking to a therapist.
  • Create a supportive work environment by communicating with your coworkers and setting boundaries.

Find Your Stress Triggers

Stress is natural and everyone experiences it.

However, finding your pain point is the first step in managing stress at work. Sometimes it’s an amalgamation of multiple small events that build up and lead to a burst of emotions.

Workload Management

A heavy workload can be a killer and isn’t ideal for the employee or employer.

In fact, the HSE mentions too much workload can impede performance and cause silly mistakes. If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do, then it’s time to manage your workload effectively and become vocal.

  • Prioritise tasks: One task will be more important than the other. Create a list and number them based on priority to ensure your time is spent efficiently.
  • Learn to say no: You already have enough on your plate and additional requests will cause it to spill. Learn how to politely decline a task if it’s out of your job description and you don’t have spare time.
  • Keep it realistic: Are your goals or tasks realistically achievable by the set deadline? Too often, we set ourselves up for failure, and reducing workplace stress starts by establishing achievable goals.
You might also find a mammoth-sized task overwhelming and causing too much workplace stress. Start by breaking down a larger task into smaller checkpoints to make it more manageable.
 
Not only will you feel a greater sense of accomplishment, but reassurance and proof of progress towards completion of the task.
 

Interpersonal Relationships

Are your workplace dynamics causing stress?
 
We’ve all seen enough Hollywood movies to understand the workplace stress that comes with gossipy colleagues or a toxic boss, hence fleshing it out early can’t be understated. Poor workplace relationships can lead to stress in your personal life, especially when it crosses work-life boundaries.
  • Communicate clearly: It’s obvious, but we recommend crystal clear communication and honesty. Misunderstandings lead to unnecessary stress, grudges and an unhealthy work environment. Take the time to professionally communicate your grievances before it builds into physical health problems such as high blood pressure – trust us, it can happen.
  • Address conflicts: Do your best to approach the person directly and constructively you have a conflict with. Remember, it doesn’t always workout and there is no shame in asking a colleague or HR for help. Work stress can be serious for some individuals, and it can’t always be solved alone.
  • Building relationships: Having friends in the workplace is exceptionally important to ensure there is someone who has your back. According to Gallup, 57% of people find work more enjoyable with friends in the office. An environment with friends will uplift your motivation in the return to office movement.
Workload and workplace relationships are the most common stress factors. Write down the points individually to reduce feelings of overwhelmingness.
 

Adopting Healthy Coping Strategies

 
Sitting down and waiting for your stressors to blow over doesn’t work.
 
It takes planned strategies that can be implemented in your work-life to improve overall wellbeing.
 

Mindfulness

Paying attention to the present moment without judgement is not everyone’s cup of tea. Most lose focus within five minutes, and this is normal.
 
Some techniques include:
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
 
Easier said than done, but it will take committed effort for mindfulness to reduce stress. Many feel anxiety when forced to sit still, breathe deeply, and focus on clearing their mind, but once you have broken past the initial threshold, it simply works.
 

Physical Activity & Personal Network

 
Exercise releases endorphins to naturally boost your mood and reduce stress levels. That’s common knowledge, but people often overdo their exercise which leads to raised cortisol levels.
 
The cortisol hormone produces stress and we need to ensure it’s a healthy amount.
Most importantly, talk to your friends and family! These are two valuable resources that you can always rely on for honest advice since it’s not in a professional environment. Having someone to vent out your troubles helps more than you think.
 
Try some of the following after a stressful period:
  •  Exercise: Whether it’s running or lifting weights, do exercise that makes you feel better and distract you from the stressful situation.
  • Vent: Letting it all out is a healthy destressing method but remember to not do it very often. Venting is releasing negative energy and the person listening will also need a break.
  • Lunch break walks: Don’t spend lunch break at your desk. Go for a walk while listening to music, a podcast, or the natural sounds of your surroundings. Alternatively, sit in the office kitchen to chat with some colleagues and destress.

Supportive Work Environment

 
Creating a supportive work environment is crucial to managing workplace stress. When employees feel valued and motivated, they are more productive and satisfied. Here are two ways to foster a supportive work environment.
 

Team Culture

A supportive and light-hearted team can foster a cohesive work environment that minimises stress caused by interpersonal relationships. A manager who focuses on leadership should consider holding team-building activities, such as social events or finding collaboration opportunities.
The less fighting within a team, the less stress.

Leadership

There are plenty of resources for employees in regard to stress support and discussing disputes. However, it’s significantly more challenging for those in leadership positions.
 
Leadership roles can place people in ostracising positions where they struggle to discuss stress with peers. This is where interpersonal relationships in the office make a difference, or speaking with the human resources department can be of some help.
 
From an employees’ perspective, a manager with leadership qualities will have the emotional intelligence to detect a stressed worker and set aside time to chat with them. Ensure to be transparent during this, as they will have your best interest in understanding and solving the problem.

Reach Out For Help

Stress is a killer and there’s times where the only option is to reach out for help.
 
Whether it’s burnout syndrome affecting your productivity, or stress levels impacting physical health, seeking professional help is important! Try our effective methods for stress relief and consider taking a holiday/time off, because sometimes that’s all we need.
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