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Stress in the workplace. As common as it sounds, it can also be easily ignored. All you need to do is to learn how to deal with stress at work.
You might see yourself in a position that you used to love and be energetic about. But this may no longer be the case. Physical exhaustion will always be a factor when you come into work. However, the mental stress part is a bit tricky to pinpoint. It can come from different angles and you still end up being stubborn about it and tell yourself "I can handle it!"
According to research, the term stress means "a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances." That being said, we've come up with 9 tips to help you deal with work-related stress.
Tip #1: Know yourself
Let’s be real, we don't always end up doing the things we want. I want you to dive into the depths of your inner thoughts and be real! I cannot emphasize this enough! It is being true to oneself. There's no better person to do that but YOU. Gauging where we are in life or professionally can be difficult especially when we're in denial. We tend to lie to compensate and we come up with reasons all the time.
We've all been victims at one point and I get it. Lying is a better story we ruin with the truth. I agree. But you can only lie to yourself for so long until you hit a breaking point. You drag yourself to work, you start to hate it and sooner or later can't cope up with things. Know yourself, picture yourself mentally and emotionally naked and answer the question: am I where I want to be? 2 out 3 times people say no. But If you ARE where you want to be in life, you have all the more reason you should be open to yourself. Feeling burnout despite liking where you are in life usually means there are external factors hindering you from being happy.
It may come to you as a surprise because you choose to be stubborn about it. Trust that this doesn't come from first-hand experience alone (though that should be completely relevant), there's even a study about it.
According to Forbes article "10 Signs You're Burning Out -- And What To Do About It", Dr. Ballard, who is the head of the APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program says that reaching the peak of your mental/physical exhaustion is a clear sign that action has to take place. Or else you will suffer from exhaustion, lack of motivation, and an overall decline in performance at work. Reasons will vary from environmental, emotional, poor time management and personal relations. Be honest, and make time now as you're reading this and admit that we don't always have full control of our lives. We can only control so much and focusing on those that we can change should shift our stature from good to better.
Tip #2: Deal with it and stay positive
I've personally come up with a list of pros and cons and I believe that's the simplest most effective way to deal with whatever is stressing me out. Properly budget your time with the pro's and simply negate those under cons. Steer away from complications. Life is already difficult on its own people. Let’s not invite anything that would make it harder for us to live exactly the life we want. A problem will stay as a problem until you decide to do something about it to flip it over. Hence your decision making will be put to a test, understand and know yourself, admit what your shortcomings are and compliment yourself about those you did good! That's not bad at all!
Tip #3: Build Relationships
A happy workplace will always be more productive than a toxic one. Are there social opportunities with people from your company? Join clubs like photography, pottery, sushi making. Engage yourself into sports like basketball or bowling. Anything that would allow you to interact with someone above you or your peers. This would showcase the work they do and allow an insight from their perspective and vice versa. Bonding with officemates has always shown good results. Nothing does that better than a cold beer and shared laughter.
Tip #4: Dress to impress
No matter how you look at it, your physical appearance will always reflect your personality. If you're already stressed out about something, don't let it show by wearing a wrinkled shirt. I know this will not solve all your problems, but grace under pressure is always appreciated. With effort, it should radiate enough to make your peers and your bosses notice it and possibly get that long-awaited raise. Rumours are toxic yet inevitable parts of our professional lives so looking good and feeling good already eliminates a huge possibility of a bad one.
Tip #5: Protege and Mentor
As they say, two heads are better than one. While that's true, no one said anything about having a protege. Being a mentor or a protege allows you to basically compare notes at work. It's also a sort of self-check, a pitstop wherein you check your wheels and engine. Wouldn't you want to know how your boss does his work half the time you normally do yours? Let's accept that there will always be people better than us on different aspects of work and in life. Get a mentor, be a men-tee. Chances are, you'll learn something new along with a better appreciation about the work you do and hate it less in the process.
Tip #6 Using headphones
Nothing beats a kick-ass song blasting in your ears while sipping hot coffee and staring at your daily tasks. It just gets you in the right mood all the time. Having those headphones handy gives you complete access to virtually anything you want to listen to! It can either be music, podcasts, nature sounds and motivational speeches that can help drive you and set your mental focus just right. Hopefully your boss (which is now supposed to be your bro) allows it.
Tip #7 Taking a breather
After a hard day's work, we all have got to find time to chill. An afternoon beer with the guys or a weekend karaoke session with the gang? Do this (or SOMETHING) and take your relaxation seriously. Setting time aside to give yourself is never a bad thing. Treasure it! In fact, having 24 hours in a day sure sounds a lot, but we're approximately just awake for about 15 hours in a day and the biggest chunk of it we use at work which takes 9 hours, which leaves us with 6 hours of awake time assuming you still have gas in the tank to go home from a 3-hour traffic jam. You now have 3 hours to rest and declutter your thoughts until you fall asleep from exhaustion only to do the same thing tomorrow. Take time to watch a movie and disconnect from work. If necessary, unplug from time itself and don't wear a watch. I've found this to be useful on long weekends and vacations. I even shut off my phone (it gets easier once you start doing it).
Tip #8 Hitting the hay just right
Easily the most important part of our list by far is this one. It also happens to be the most difficult one to get, with your computer basically on the palm of your hands, browsing on your phone can easily distract you from sleeping. It takes away your attention and constantly reminds you of what you already know. Less time spent on Facebook or on your phone should mean less blue light and more time to get that well-deserved rest. I find it relaxing to listen to the sounds of rain played on YouTube as background noise. It even helps me be in a state of peace while slowly drifting away to dreamland.
Tip #9 Meditation
Now that you've reached the last part of our list, it is now time to rinse and repeat. Yes, doing this daily can be a buzzkill, but planning your day ahead aligned with all your daily tasks and finishing them can also be rewarding. Followed by a sense of accomplishment, (and nothing beats that) find time to reflect on your daily activities and paint a mental picture on how you can be better next time. Remember, the quality of work you do can only be equal to the amount of dedication you put into it. Meditation is exactly like self deliberation. Be a constant critique of yourself and set realistic goals. Once you've achieved one, immediately set another with a much more challenging pace. We can only be better in what we do after a ton of repetition and correction until it becomes second nature.
Need a good reason to cut stress? The folks over at Tenfold tell us how it can mean more sales in an article here.
There you have it. Now get out there and start to de-stress!