Workplace stress is not a new topic. Actually, the internet is full of articles discussing it and what employees and their employers can do to alleviate it. Stress has significant health consequences if left unchecked. These include; simple colds, flu, and potentially serious diseases like metabolic syndrome, blood pressure, and heart disease.
Further, higher levels of stress can affect performance and productivity. This is because stressed employees take time off work, and several days are lost that would have been channeled to growing the business.
Sadly there is no ideal or low-stress job. So employees have to adopt a realistic approach to help them handle stress at their present workplace.
The article will review 10 ways of handling stress at the workplace from an employee’s perspective.
Increase Physical Activities
The majority think of high-impact activities when they hear the word exercise. Actually, you don’t have to hit the gym every morning or evening to be said to be active. However, you can engage in simple activities such as taking a walk at lunchtime, yoga exercise, or meditation sessions after work.
Still, some employers promote exercise in the workplace, and employees can take advantage of such activity sessions to relax and maintain their mental well-being.
Avoid Workplace Conflicts
Are you always at the center of every disagreement and conflict at the workplace? Engaging in such interpersonal conflicts will affect your emotional and physical health. While disputes are inevitable, it would be good to avoid engaging in such at the office.
You can do that by not gossiping, avoiding contentious topics such as politics and religion, or discriminating against others. Further, avoid the company of those who don’t work well with others and resolve any misunderstanding that comes your way as soon as possible. You can also seek help from your superiors before things get out of control.
Set Honest Timelines
Most stressed individuals agree to timelines and deadlines that they are sure they won’t meet. However, it’s better, to be honest from the beginning than to apologize later. Some deadlines are strict and can’t be negotiated, so such timelines will stress you if you are not honest upfront.
Being Honest will also help you work at a manageable pace. You will definitely feel good and look better when you finish your assigned tasks ahead of time.
Keep Perfectionism under Control
While being a high achiever can help you excel at work and make you feel good, being a perfectionist will work against you, cause stress and make others uncomfortable working with you.
So, understand that it might not always be possible to do everything perfectly well because you will at times get a busy, fast-paced assignment or job. Also, it’s important to understand that everyone is unique and has different abilities. So you shouldn’t expect too much from your colleagues because this can increase your stress or make others uncomfortable working with you.
Shun Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices
Unhealthy habits help stress to thrive. These include overdrinking, smoking, and bad eating habits. Such practices actually offer short-term stress relief, and male employees tend to turn to them more than their female counterparts.
Sadly these bad habits don’t alleviate the source of the stress, and in fact, the choices can cause them to lose their job, break relationships or ruin their marriages.
You can start by breaking free from friends with such habits, engaging in a wellness program, and seeking medical assistance where possible. These efforts will help you lead a healthier life.
Get Rid of Bad Working Practices
Could the way you operate be the source of your stress? Bad working practices such as completing big tasks at the last minute may be the reason you’re always stressed. However, starting with these tasks early in the day will not only give you a sense of achievement but will help you avoid making errors because you’re more alert in the morning than towards the end of the day. And so you will have fewer issues with your superiors.
Use Calming Language
A neutral language is an antidote to disagreements in the workplace. A calming language brings down stress levels because it makes misunderstanding more manageable. For instance, in the event of a conflict, why not begin the conversation with a statement like “Here is what I’m thinking” and conclude with “What are you thinking?” Another example is “How could we prevent such an incident from coming up in the future?”
Such a statement makes your colleagues feel that their input is needed, thus reducing everyone’s stress level in the workplace.
Change Your Environment
Every employee loves their desk, so they try to personalize it by placing photos of their spouses or children. Still, you can change that environment with a view to reducing your stress level. Some of the ways you can achieve that are by switching to a place where you can get natural light, and if not possible, you can try to work with what is available.
You can also use healthy plants to transform your work area or create a community space where you and your colleagues can relax and socialize as you take a cup of tea or lunch. Request for a change of uncomfortable seat because this can be the cause of your stress.
The aim of making these changes is to create a quiet, comfortable and soothing environment.
Ask for Help
Working in a hectic workplace can cause you to say yes to everything you’re assigned. However, if it feels bad to decline work, you can ask for help or clarification because this will help you in the long run. For instance, asking for help will help decrease anxiety and communicate to your bosses that you genuinely care about completing the assigned tasks.
Get Adequate Sleep
The lack of sleep is another reason why you might be getting stressed. When you go home thinking about your job, you will definitely not get enough rest, and the following, you still feel stressed and weak.
So switch your smartphone and other gadgets during bedtime, avoid taking caffeine in the evening, sleep early and maintain that routine.
Handling stress at the workplace can be challenging; however, tackling it proactively can improve your health, relations and help you enjoy your work. Applying these 10 tips will help you reduce the time you spend off work and boost productivity.
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