In the work environment, we mostly all have experienced stress at some point. We all fall under the pressure of one or many of these factors:
- Low salaries.
- Unclear performance expectations.
- Excessive workloads.
- Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
- Work that isn’t engaging or challenging.
- Lack of social support.
- Not having enough control over job-related decisions.
Stress at work is inevitable but not impossible to manage. It is all about learning how to cope with your mistakes at work, and taking the necessary measures to limit your stress level.
There are ways to help you feel more relaxed and energized at work:
Identify your stress factors
It is important to put the finger on what triggers your stress. Is your supervisor asking too much of you? Do you feel unappreciated by your colleagues? Most often, we do not take the time to identify the problem and make a mountain out of something that can be quickly fixed. Take the time to keep a journal and note the things that cause you stress throughout the day. This will make it easier for you to find solutions that will directly attack the problem and bring effective solutions.
- If your workload is bringing you stress, maybe you need an agenda
- If your low salary is stressing you out, it might be time to discuss with your supervisor and HR and discuss a raise
- If you feel misunderstood, maybe planing a meeting to make sure expectations are clear will help out.
Take the time to know yourself and your environment so you can take the appropriate steps.
Be strict about boundaries
Is your stress level out of control because you have failed to set the proper boundaries? Today, it is easy to work close to 24 hours because it is so easy to work from home and from our mobile phones. We keep working beyond regular working hours, reply to emails and messages while we are in bed and should be communicating with our significant other, wrap up some work instead of enjoying our meals…. Take the time to set boundaries between your work life and personal life. Although people have different preferences when it comes to how much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes with it.
Bring some changes to your work environment
The environment you work in plays a very important role in the way you feel at work. Is your desk stressing you out? Are your papers and documents laying around everywhere? It might be a sign that you need a clean up! Decompressing your space will help you clear out the atmosphere so that your ideas can flow more freely.
- Start throwing away unnecessary things
- Place your documents in folders
- Add a personal touch to make you feel more at ease (Family pictures, flowers, scented candles)
- Have some soft music playing in the background
Identify someone you can talk to
Do not keep all your worries to yourself! Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources available: counselling, support programs and more. Start by having an open conversation with your supervisor. The purpose of this isn’t to lay out a list of complaints, but rather to come up with an effective plan for managing the stressors you’ve identified. (see point 1)
Your work life does not have to be draining and unpleasant. Yes there will be challenges along the way but it is important to do your part in order to make sure you keep a healthy work and personal life balance!