According to the American Institute of Stress, stress is “a highly subjective phenomenon that differs for each of us.
Things that are distressful for some individuals can be pleasurable for others.” (Check out the top 50 common signs and symptoms of stress they’ve identified, I’m sure at least 5 will be familiar)
Stress is defined by MedicineNet.com as “forces from the inside or outside world affecting the individual… [It] is related to both external and internal factors.” Internal is things like health, exercise levels, and sleep. Whereas external is your environment.
Take your job for example. This will come as no surprise to many of you, but we spend more time at our place of work than almost anywhere else. If you work a company that lets you use your device for email and work apps (think BYOD) you are always linked in answering emails at all hours of the night.
It’s easy to respond plus it’s not like you can shut it off – it’s your personal device too. There’s no church and state separation and it’s hard to shut out the social life when all you really want to do is get away from work for a few hours.
All the pressures of doing well to keep your job, to get the promotion and the raise, to solve the problem as quick as you can even outside the 8 to 5 cycle can cause some serious work related stress. You know there’s a reason they call it the “grind” for a reason.
I have friends who pretend that the stress doesn’t affect their day to day life, but according to the National Institute of Mental Health, continued stress can bring about serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes, depression, and a plethora of other illnesses.
Squishy stress balls, kick boxing, and yoga are all ways to combat your work-related stress, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America it’s possible to do even more.
Here are 5 ways to manage work related stress
Plan, Prepare, and Manage Your Time: This is the first one for a reason, because when you have your to-do lists and your time, in and out of work, is prioritized, you are in control of your schedule. This leads me to our next bullet…
Organize your boundaries, breaks, and vacations: The best advice I received from a colleague is, “if you don’t let your kids interrupt you during work, then don’t let your boss interrupt you during your family time.” Set aside personal time to work on your personal life; organize a vacation and think of it as your light at the end of the tunnel. While at work, don’t be afraid to take a break from your desk, I can promise you it will all be there when you get back.
Be Realistic by Saying No and Asking for Help: Here’s where you combine tip 1 and 2, to make 3. Don’t commit to something you can’t deliver on so diplomatically say no. Your manager may not realize you’re overcommitted if they don’t realize how much you have on your to-do list.
Time and time again I personally overcommit, and I end up either disappointing someone or myself because the job doesn’t get done as well as I wanted it to be. If you have your time managed, and your boundaries set, you’ll have a clear view of your plate and won’t say yes to that extra scoop.
But if your eyes are still bigger than your calendar, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Your colleagues will typically help you; just don’t forget to return the courtesy later on.
Treat Yourself and Those Around You: With success should follow celebration, don’t leave this out of your planning. Thank your colleagues; you’ll feel better knowing they feel appreciated.
Treat your mind with the vacations and daily breaks, and treat your body with sleep and regular exercise.
Avoid the Bad Stuff: this is wider than you’d think. Everyone has that toxic colleague who never has anything nice to say, ignore them. Their negativity won’t help you get the job done. Neither will your snicker’s bar lunch. Grab an apple (they give you better energy than coffee).
Steve Maraboli said it best, “I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.”