Stress. The unpredictable weight that plagues us all at one point or other. With 1.3 million people in the UK suffering from a work-related illness there has been an increase the total number of cases over the last 3 years. According to Labour Force Survey (LFS)workplace stress is often due to tight deadlines, workload pressure and lack of support. Not all stress is bad, stress can drive us closer to our goals with determination. However, it’s learning how to manage the stress when it becomes overwhelming. Here are some steps to help put you back in control.
Identify the Source
Whilst this may seem like a simple step it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of your stress when overwhelmed. Common cause of stress in the workplace circulate around low salaries, lack of managerial support, and little opportunity to develop your career or the general feeling of no control over your job.
Identifying bad stress itself should be your first step. The negative effects of stress, short and long term, can cause insomnia, headaches, high blood pressure, stomach aches and difficulty concentrating. Long term stress can have a significant contribution to health issues such as depression, obesity and heart problems. Noticing this problems will allow you assess your stress levels, the impact on your health and the best solution for this.
Communication is Key
Once you’ve assessed the cause of your stress, reflect on how you work and communicate with your team and colleagues. Small changes in your behaviour and interaction can benefit your working relationships easing your anxiety.
Work breaks – Breaks are important in the workplace and shouldn’t be overlooked because of the workload pressure. Small talk with other colleagues can elevate stress and help your relax. By getting to know your workmates it will benefit how you work together as a team. Alongside this breaks away from looking at a computer screen will significantly improve your mood and productivity.
Team work – You may not be alone in your stresses. Take part in more team work activities to alleviate some of the work load. There may be a colleague more capable of a certain task that will help speed along the process and allow you to focus on your own task at hand.
Whilst it’s important to take your work breaks it’s as easily important to switch off from technology and work when you’ve clocked out. The work will still be there in the morning and your evenings are for you to spend time for yourself. This time should be devoted for self-maintenance whether that be through exercise, productive tasks or socialising. It allows your mind and body to rest and recover from workplace stress letting your return with a refreshed mind-set.
It can be incredibly difficult to see a way out of your stress induced workplace but it’s important to keep in mind that with each challenge there is a way to overcome them. It is impossible to eradicate all workplace stress but it is possible to alleviate the bad stress to help you stay focused and healthy in your work.