Coping with work stress

In today's world, people are becoming increasingly busy and more and more pressure is being put on us in the work place. Budget cuts equal a longer list of task that are included in our job descriptions. It feels like the daily tasks will never end. The norm that we have set is to stay after work hours, or to take work home with us. We find ourselves finishing work when we should be spending time with our families or during time for actives that we enjoy in our personal down time. Some times we are not even given job descriptions, so we find our selves lost and confused, adding additional pressure on us to perform. Let's not forget the good old performance reviews and our biologically driven need to the best....That is biologically driven right? It certainly seems to be... right? Or why else would we always be putting all this pressure to be the best and out shine the rest? It's not adding up to pay increases or promotions, at times, we will get a "You did a great job." So why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we focus so much energy on work performance to the point that we are making ourselves physically and mentally ill? 

What happen to the famous "We offer a great work life balance at our company." As employees we are not even given the false hope that companies care about our wellbeing anymore. We are required to "Work until the job is done, your salary." When did this mentality become ok? And why are we accepting it? 

While there is a degree of normal work stress, excessive stress can have a negative impact on us both physically and mentally. Stress can effect our relationships, our work performances, our health, our ability to find happiness and joy in our lives. If you feel like workplace stress is interfering with you taking care of you mind and body, and you find yourself unable to care for yourself, feeling you have no work life balance, seeing your relationships becoming impact by your stress it is time to make changes and learn skills...... and TAKE ACTION. It may feel like you are out of control and powerless in the work place but there are things within your control. 

Here are some little changes that will add up to less stress: 

  • Start looking at the little tasks, and focusing on accomplishing one small task at a time. Not allowing yourself to be preoccupied with the bigger picture, that is when you become overwhelmed and stressed out. 
  • Making lists daily. Sounds simply right? Then why are you doing it. Make realistic expectations for yourself, write them down every morning. Set boundaries to leave work when your goals of the day are done. It is scientifically proven that the brain releases "happy chemicals" every time you cross something off your list.
  • Take a lunch, a long lunch. I know what you're thinking, "I CANT, THERE WILL BE SO MUCH WORK WHEN I GET BACK!" You need to give yourself time to recharge and restart your mind. Guess what the work will wait for you, do not worry. 
  • Make sure that you are eating healthy and drinking water, which both play a part in how our brain functions and our bodies feel. Some times symptoms of hungry can be confused with stress or anger. So make sure to eat!
  • It is okay to say NO! Do not commit to more then you can take on, or complete. That person you said no to will most likely forget that you had said no once they move on, and find the sucker that says yes. Don't be the sucker. 
  • Do  self evaluations, ask your self why do I care so much about this project or task? What is this going to matter to me in a day? A month? A year? by doing this it helps slow us down and put perspective on things. 

Here are just the basics. You are able to make these changes and no one else is in control of whether or not you do them.... other then yourself. So if you want to reduce stress and feel better mental and physically, TAKE ACTION. 

Carla Gehle