Workplace stress is a normal factor for employees in any profession, but excessive amounts can harm you both mentally and physically. Whether its worries about overall performance, pressure to meet consistent deadlines or recent disagreements with your bosses, stress from your job can come from many factors.
A recent survey highlighted by Huffington Post stated that more than one in four Canadians deal with high levels of stress in the workplace. A large majority of people surveyed said that their work days are often extremely stressful. Studies have shown that stress brought on by the pressures of the workplace is leaving people with mental health that is the same or worse than those who are struggling with unemployment.
This week, we’re taking a look at some of the stress warning signs you need to look out for if you are feeling overwhelmed. Also, we have gathered some tips to help you overcome and protect yourself from workplace stress.
What to Look Out For
Firstly, if you are feeling overly tired and have low energy, the stress from work is clearly having an adverse effect on your sleep cycle. This is often followed up with muscle tension and headaches or migraines, both of which lead to you having trouble concentrating and being less productive overall.
Carrying the stress from work during after hours is a pitfall that can lead to anxiety and depression. Workplace stress that lingers on your mind will affect your social life and can get in the way of close relationships. If you are avoiding social gatherings with family or friends to be on your own more often, your workplace stress may be affecting you more than you think.
Easy Initial Steps
The first and easiest of all the steps you can take is to simply get away from your desk. Scheduling little breaks throughout the day and getting away from your workstation can go a long way. Go grab a quick coffee or just take a short walk to re-energize yourself, when you come back you’ll find that you can be more productive.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
You need to get up and keep mobile when off of work. A daily exercise routine will help you focus less on the stressful thoughts of your work day and more on your body’s exercise. It is usually recommended that you try and exercise for at least thirty minutes at a time because it can easily fit into your average day.
Aerobic exercises are extremely helpful in lifting moods, increasing your energy, and allowing your mind to focus on the activity rather than any other negative thoughts. Practice dancing, running, swimming, or even just going for a walk when you get home from work. Look into running or walking groups and make it a social activity so you can exercise while meeting new people and making new friends.
Stop Keeping Yourself Up at Night
The stress from your job can have a huge effect on your precious sleep. You need to be well rested in order to be more productive and more attentive. Start getting better sleep by avoiding stressful or stimulating activities right before bed and don’t try to catch up on any work.
Avoid the screens we so often surround ourselves with by shutting off your phone, tablet, or computer. These technologies have been known to disrupt your body’s melatonin production, the chemical that helps us sleep, and keep you awake.
Meditation is also a great way to help improve your sleeping habits and let go of workplace stress. After a particularly stressful work day, turning to meditation will help clear your head of the information that has you stressed. Meditation is ingeniously simple and it can easily fit into anyone’s day.
Just set aside as little as two minutes to sit as still as you can, over time you can increase your meditation length. All a good meditation plan encompasses is simply staying quiet and focusing on something like counting your breaths. After you’re able to just focus on your breathing, move to focusing on different body parts and focus on how they are feeling. After enough time, your mind will be clear of any negative thoughts from the day.
Focus on the Good of Your Job
Our final tip to relieve work stress is to remember the aspects of your career that you love. Do you like having your work contributed to a larger project? Maybe you like having your writing or editing or whatever it is you do contribute to a final product of some sort. Focus on the positive difference you are making or the strength you bring to your workplace and the stress will not seem as daunting.
If that is not something you find in your job, look to your co-workers. Fellow employees can often make a strenuous day a little bit better because you can laugh and work alongside them. You will almost always find something at your job to value and find joy in so try and determine what that is and focus on it.