Raise your hand if you’ve made it through a workday without stress. I’m betting your hand is sitting firmly at your side. I get it. It’s easy to become overwhelmed at work and let it take over. With stress being a leading cause of some serious health issues, let’s talk about how you can do better at coping with stress at work.
Six Tips to Cut the Workplace Stress in 2019
- Stop self-inducing stress
- Give yourself space to stress
- Stop checking your email obsessively
- Get social
- Create less stress at home
- Be kind to yourself
1. What are you self-inducing?
Take a second to examine your own behaviors first. Are you doing anything that’s causing you to stress at work? I know this sounds crazy. Who would intentionally cause themselves to stress? But we do it all the time. Sometimes we allow the perception of others to create unnecessary comparisons about our work or achievements. When we eliminate the need to appease others, we not only reduce stress in the workplace but we also have a greater chance of impressing those whose opinions we value. Taking the pressure off of yourself allows you to work in a more creative and carefree space—that’s where the real magic happens.
2. Give yourself time to stress
Seems counterproductive, doesn’t it? But, giving yourself a scheduled time to get all your stress out will actually increase productivity and reduce stress. Try giving yourself 10-15 minutes a day at work to let the stress and overwhelming feeling be present and then move on from it to your tasks. Instead of spending all day in a constant state of worry, taking just a few minutes to get it all out will actually reduce your overall stress for the day. Write it out and then move on. Or go into an empty meeting room and let all the anxiety be felt at once. Then return to your desk to tackle what you can and delegate what you can’t manage.
3. Stop obsessively checking your email
I’ve been guilty of this, too. I used to get constant notifications whenever an email arrived, then I’d have the compulsion to check it immediately—regardless of what I was already working on. It kept me entirely unproductive andI was always on edge. Projects kept getting interrupted from stopping the flow to check an email, or notification, and I felt like I had to respond immediately. Schedule some time during the day that’s dedicated to checking your email. I try to check it first thing in the morning, before lunch and an hour before the day is over. I’ve not only conditioned those who email me to expect a response at certain times, but my day is less chaotic as a result. The easiest way to eliminate stress at work is to stop adding to it by checking your email obsessively.
4. Talk to other people
We are social creatures and need to interact with others to avoid burnout. Make it a point to leave your office and talk to your colleagues. Grab a coffee. Go to lunch. Take a walk outside together. Talk about something other than spreadsheets. That social interaction will be a game changer when it comes to reducing your office stress.
5. It starts at home
Starting and ending the day in a stress-free way is extremely helpful to eliminate workplace stress. If your morning at work is hectic and you’re thinking about stressors at home on top of that, then you’re operating all day from a place of stress. Get the proper amount of sleep and try to leave your problems at home. Have something more than coffee for breakfast so that you arrive to work feeling ready to take on your day. Establishing a routine for when you get home so you’re not dwelling on it at work will allow you to focus on work tasks, instead. Have some consistency in the self-care department at home and the benefits will seep into your work life, transforming how you handle stress at the office.
6. Be kind to yourself
Science says humans have about 20,000-70,000 thoughts per day. Naturally, we can’t control them all; but the ones we can control aren’t always kind. We tend to be our own biggest critic. Make it a point to give yourself some praise. Give yourself credit for all the work you do and everything you accomplish. While not everyone will give you the recognition you feel you deserve, and that can cause stress at work, you can give yourself some credit. By acknowledging how awesome you are and seeing your own value, you can greatly decrease your office stress. Keeping yourself in a state of positive energy will make it easier to cope with things that come your way at work. Ever notice that when you’re in a great mood, it’s easier to let things roll off your back? A simple way to ditch the stress at work is to keep yourself in a great mood and let the little things stay that way, little.
Take baby steps and start implementing—2019 is the year because stress management at work is beyond achievable for you.