We have done many ways in managing work stress. However, what we usually fail to realize is that we might be doing it the wrong way. Several studies have found that most people are managing stress in unhealthy ways (e.g., drank, binged on unhealthy food, smoked, used drugs, or isolate themselves socially). Having this in mind is our first step in effectively managing stress. To make us more productive and engaged this 2021, here are healthier ways in managing work stress that are highly recommended by doctors and psychologists.
1) Begin every day by taking just 10 minutes to plan and prioritize a realistic set of targets.
2) Keep track of your stress through the day. Use a Stress Diary to take note of where stressful events happened, who you were with, and how you reacted. Identify situations to avoid in the future, and cultivate healthy coping mechanisms.
3) Have "no-work" times in your schedule. Plan in advance, turn off phone, don't check email and put work out of your mind.
4) Use time off to the full take annual leave and make your holidays and weekend periods of recharging and recovery.
5) Use relaxation techniques such as exercise, yoga and meditation.
6) Get support from any health and safety or HR Department to make sure your workplace is safe and comfortable.
7) Don't try to control the uncontrollable. Company structures and colleagues' personalities are outside of your control so don't exhaust yourself obsessing about it.
8) Avoid Perfectionism. If the work is done and adequate, don't push yourself to do more.
9) Find the funny side. Laughing at a situation helps a lot too.
10) Appreciate the positive. Try to focus on pride in your own work, your workmates good points, and anything that keeps you seeing the brighter side of things.
Again, what is important is to identify your unhealthy ways and commit to a healthier way of managing work stress, and applying these tips are for sure a great starting point. Now more than ever, as the pandemic is still present, prioritizing your health is the best way to start the new year. Knowing that you are much more than your work and giving an appropriate amount of your time and energy to work is important to establishing a healthy work-life balance.
Reference: T. L. Lindquist et al, “Influence of lifestyle, coping and job stress on blood pressure”, Hypertension (1997); “A Passion for Work-Life Balance”, Robert Half (2016).