In 2018, 74% of people felt so stressed at work that they were overwhelmed or unable to cope. If you often experience similar feelings and don’t take steps to manage your stress, it could severely harm your mental health. That’s why you need effective stress management in the workplace.
Managing your stress levels
The first step to managing stress is acknowledging you’re experiencing stress, and you don’t need to deal with stress alone; there are numerous coping mechanisms and places you can get support.
Ask your manager for help
First, try to identify what causes you stress at work. Is it someone else’s poor management? Do you simply have too much to do? Are you not getting the training you need? It could be any of these things. Once you’ve pinpointed what causes you stress, speak to your manager – rarely are they a scary individual that doesn’t care; they want to know you’re contented. They can help you to prioritise and manage your workload and will set realistic goals to overcome issues you’re facing.
Give yourself short breaks
Don’t spend all day at your desk – and even if you need to, make sure you venture outside the office during your lunch break. Take a short tea break in the morning and never skip your lunch break. Getting away from your desk will give you time to clear your head and return refreshed.
Have interests outside of work
Maintaining a life outside of work is valuable and something you should nurture. Don’t let your work take over your life at home. Take up a hobby, go to the gym, join a reading group or just take time to get outside and walk in nature to give you a good work-life balance, which will reduce stress.
Develop healthy work habits
Create work habits that will diminish your stress and will prepare you for the next day. Try cleaning your desk and writing to-do lists before you leave each day to increase your productivity. Create a ritual that will help you to switch off for the evening – it could be something as simple as having a cuppa and reading the newspaper for 10 minutes when you get in from work.
Not every coping mechanism works for everyone. Try different methods of dealing with stress to find out what works for you. If you start to see and feel signs and symptoms of stress building, use techniques to manage it.
Remember, you'll be more productive at work when you look after your wellbeing and manage your stress levels.
Note for employers
As an employer, it’s essential to know when stress is having a negative impact on your employees. Having a support system and trained staff in place will help you to maintain a healthy workplace.
Struggling with stress or having a question about workplace stress? Call 01206 764 600 to speak to someone from Mid and North East Essex Mind Charity. Alternatively, visit the charity’s website.