April is Stress Awareness Month, the time of year where we highlight how to avoid stress in the workplace. Every person who has ever had a job has experienced the pressure of work-related stress at some point. Even if you enjoy your work, any job can be stressful at times. You might feel under pressure in your role to reach a deadline or finish a demanding task. But, continuous work stress can become overwhelming and be bad for your physical and mental health.
Such persistent stress is, sadly, all too common. In fact, a majority of Americans continually regard their jobs as a major source of stress, according to the APA’s annual Stress in America poll. It’s not always possible to prevent stress at work, yet, you can take action to help manage this.
Here are some ideas:
Take breaks: It’s crucial to take breaks throughout the day to reduce workplace stress. According to research, taking brief breaks can boost creativity, increase productivity, and minimize mental tiredness. Try to take a break every hour or so to get up from your desk, stretch your legs, or take part in something calming like mindfulness meditation or deep breathing.
Prioritize and delegate: Establish realistic goals and assign activities based on priority to help you feel less stressed and be more productive. When you can, assign work to colleagues and try to divide larger jobs into smaller, more manageable pieces. By doing so, you’ll be able to prioritize your job and decrease your workload.
Practice mindfulness: Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are all mindfulness-based practises that can help you focus and feel less stressed. According to research, mindfulness can boost resilience, enhance cognitive function, and avoid the likes of depression and anxiety. Try focusing on your breathing for a few minutes each day, and then gradually extend your practise.
Build positive relationships: Having positive relationships with your co-workers might make you feel less stressed and more fulfilled at work. Make an effort to develop strong working connections by being encouraging, actively listening, and providing assistance when necessary. This may promote a feeling of support and trust at work.
Exercise: Engaging in physical activity might help you feel better and reduce stress. According to research, engaging in regular physical activity can enhance cardiovascular health, increase mood, and boost cognitive performance. Try to schedule some time each day for exercise, such as going for a walk, going to the gym, or attending a fitness class.
Manage your time: Time management is important since it can lower stress and boost productivity. To help you remain on track, use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and productivity apps. Your most crucial jobs should be prioritized, therefore try to refrain from multitasking as much as you can. You can maintain focus and avoid mental tiredness by doing this.
Set boundaries: To avoid burnout, it’s crucial to set boundaries between work and personal time. Try to disconnect from work as much as you can when you’re not at the office by not checking work emails or returning work calls during your leisure time. By doing so, you’ll be able to relax and stop work-related stress from affecting your personal life.
Seek help: Don’t be afraid to ask for support from a mental health professional or your employee assistance program if work-related stress becomes intolerable. Keep in mind that asking for support when you need it is acceptable. Mental health specialists can give help and direction for managing work-related stress and can assist you in creating good coping mechanisms.
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