Stress. We all have experienced it, sometimes on a daily basis. We find ourselves confronted with stressful situations at work, in our personal lives, financially and maybe every morning when we sit in traffic on our daily commute. Sometimes you may find yourself getting so overwhelmed you’re not quite sure what’s causing the feeling and how to deal with it. On the flip side, stress is not always a bad thing and can in fact be a motivator. We may find ourselves performing at a high level when we have a deadline to meet. It’s important, however, to recognize the difference between good and bad stress and when it may affect your health. And if people have ever offered you a remedy by telling you to not be so stressed, I’m sure we can agree that’s anything but helpful. Here are some tips on how to deal with some of the stressful situations at work.
1. One big thing that makes me feel stressed is disorganization. When I know that I have a million things to do but am not sure where to start, I get overwhelmed. Whether at work or at home, no one likes feeling like they have more things to do than hours in the day. This is when I make a to-do list and prioritize what I need to get done. Then I start checking things off one-by-one, making the tasks much easier to manage. Also, I try to avoid distractions. If you find yourself constantly on your cell phone, turn it off for a certain time period of the day. If you find yourself overwhelmed with emails, designate an hour per day that you can dedicate to responding rather than find your day consumed by answering emails throughout the entire day.
2. Take a Break
The work day can feel very long, depending on the day of course. If I am feeling distracted, burnt-out or restless I take a break. I will go for a walk, grab a snack, or run to Starbucks for a coffee. It doesn’t matter what I do but I know that it is important for me to take my mind of work and reset, even if just for a few minutes. Also it’s important to create a work-life balance and be able to go home at night without taking work with you. Yes, we all have deadlines and sometimes we put in the 60 hour work weeks but let’s be real, sometimes things can wait. You may find yourself even more refreshed going to work in the morning after a good night’s sleep.
3. Eat well and exercise
I am a huge believer in breakfast and I truly believe that if you do not eat a good meal you are putting yourself at a disadvantage for the day. And by good breakfast I am not talking about two bowls of lucky charms. Get in the habit of packing a healthy lunch and taking time to actually eat your lunch away from your computer. Make good food choices that won’t make you feel sluggish throughout the day. And choose activities throughout the week that help you alleviate stress. Whether it be running, playing basketball or reading, choose something that helps you exercise your mind and body.
4. Utilize your coworkers
Whenever I am struggling with a task on my own I will at times ask one of my coworkers for help or advice. People are often afraid to ask for help because they feel like it means they cannot do the job well on their own. In reality this is not the case and when I ask for help I get a fresh perspective, useful advice or am able to confirm that I had it right all along. Use your teammates and managers because they want to see you succeed.
5. Have some fun and stay positive!
No one said work can’t be fun. No matter what job you are doing there is a way to make it fun and enjoyable. Help create and sustain a positive work culture and build relationships with your coworkers. If you wake up every day with a negative attitude, odds are you may not find yourself enjoying your job. Yes, you will have good and bad days but if you can find yourself saying positive affirmations every morning you increase your chances of having a positive mentality that will help you overcome daily obstacles.
People say work isn’t fun but if you can’t find yourself saying you enjoy more aspects than not in your job then you may be in the wrong profession. Your work is supposed to be challenging because that’s what makes the hard work and accomplishments so rewarding. Stress may always be there and it usually comes from a feeling of having no control, but if you can change your perspective on situations and the way you handle it you may find yourself less stressed and more successful than before. Stay positive and embrace stress!