Tips for Managing Work Stress

Work Stress affects everyone, even if you love your job there will be times that you will be stressed and overwhelmed. It is how your manager your stress that makes all the difference.

Research shows that for 60% of the workweek, half of the employees are stressed. We can’t get away from stress, it is all around. There is stress at home, stress at work, and stress with worldwide situations, such as the pandemic, and war. When you add in stress from your personal life, an ailing parent, a death in the family, a sick child, and the list goes on and on. One of the greatest stressors is our self-talk — the self-doubt and “what-ifs. 

Some stress drives you to work faster and push yourself harder. Other times, stress can negatively affect your emotional and physical health. Regardless of where the pressure is in your life, at work or home, it directly impacts your relationships and performance.

We cannot get rid of stress altogether, no matter how hard we try. However, there are some strategies we can do adopt to reduce stress. 

The mornings can be rushed. There is getting kids up, making lunches, getting the family out the door to drop off at daycare or school. If you are lucky, you grabbed something to eat on the way out the door. By the time you arrive at work, you are already stressed. 

Starting your day off right reduces your stress. This includes having a good night’s sleep, getting exercise, good nutrition, and a positive attitude. 

2.         Be Clear on Expectations.

One of the critical components of burnout is unclear work expectations. We are living in a time or an ever-changing climate and we need to adapt and pivot quickly. One day you were working at the office and then you were sent home to work remotely for months and maybe even a year. You still might be doing the hybrid work with part days at the office and the other days at home. There is an employee shortage which means those who are working are working harder to pick up the slack.

If you find yourself in this ever-changing environment, start the communications ask for clarification on the expectations your boss has for you. Be clear, have a two-way honest conversation about your skills, talents, and your boundaries.

3.         Stay Organized

Planning your day ahead and staying significantly organized decreases your work stress. Organization means less clutter. Do you have an efficient filing system? Utilize your calendar and block time for answering emails and returning telephone calls. Most importantly, keep personal calls and texts to a minimum so you can stay focused and on task.

4.         Stop Multitasking

Multitasking was once considered a great way to maximize your day, but researchers have since learned that multitasking slows productivity and increases errors. Return to step 3 and find ways to improve your organization.

5.         Take a Walk

Get up and move. A short walk away from your desk, helps you clear your mind, you will return more focused. I am known for walking all over town. If a meeting is close to my office, I will walk there instead of driving. Take a walk around the building, go around the block, or run an errand. Just getting out getting fresh air will clear your head and remove stress.

6.         Keep Perfectionism in Check

Perfectionism is unattainable, learn to acknowledge that your best is good enough. Celebrate your successes along the way. Be proud of what you have achieved.

Helen Keller said: “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Stress is not what happens to us. IT is our response to what happens. And Response is something we can choose.

By Cheryl Viola, MBA, Executive Director