How to Deal With Workplace Stress

Relax...It's All Good.

Apr 16, 2019

More than one-third of American workers experience chronic stress in the workplace.  It is a common epidemic, with an estimated cost to American businesses of up to $300 billion a year in lost work hours and medical bills. When triggered in the body for extended periods of time, stress hormones can lead to increased physical aging and significant strain on the mind. Stress is reflected in your physical appearance and can negatively affect your daily performance.  There are proven techniques to help you cope, however, so you can become a happy and productive worker again. 

Remove, Change or Accept. There are many factors to workplace stress, and the first step to dealing with them is learning the triggersTake a piece of paper and divide it into three columns. At the top, write Remove in the first column, Change in the second, and Accept in the third. Next, think of the triggers that stress you the most.

For example: Maybe your paycheck is a bit smaller than you would like or feel you deserve. For this stressful trigger, which would you prefer?

  • To remove yourself from the company 
  • To try to change your salary by asking for a pay increase
  • To accept that your salary is okay for you

Use your Remove, Change or Accept worksheet to list the stress triggers you face most often. Once you see them on paper, you will be better able to identify the things you can remove, the situations you can change, and the issues you can accept.  It will be time well spent.

Plan Ahead.  It is almost impossible to get every task done in one day, so don’t try. Prioritize! The endless cycle of trying to do too much, then failing to catch it all up is enough to stress even the most dedicated worker.  Instead, spend some time thinking about your goals and how to prioritize your tasks.  Set aside time in the morning to go over the responsibilities that need attention. Move assignments that have immediate deadlines to the front and postpone working in those with longer deadlines until after.  Then, tackle those immediate tasks by knocking out the simplest first.  Before you know it, you will have marked quite a bit off your list! You may not get everything completed, but you will feel like you accomplished a good day’s work.

Build Positive Relationships. We spend more time at work than we do at home, so it is vital to your wellbeing to have positive relationships with your work family. These positive relationships alleviate negative circumstances by simply distracting you and creating a buffer.

Make an effort to create friendships with your co-workers.  The bonds formed in the workplace can reach far beyond the current employment, and will help you associate feelings of positivity and connection with your workplace.

Take time out for yourself.  Everyone gets overwhelmed at work at some point, and this can spill over into other areas of your life. For that reason, it is important to clock out mentally from your job from time to time. Relax, unwind and reset your mind in order to regain your mental energy to get back to work.   Make sure you actually do something you enjoy, like spending time with your kids or partner, or visit that park you have always wanted to explore. If taking time off work isn’t possible in the midst of your stress, take scheduled breaks throughout your day. Sit quietly somewhere or do some stretches to get your blood flowing. 

Take Care of Your Health. Maintaining and even improving your health will help keep your stress under control. There are literally thousands of articles on how to live a healthy life, but sticking to the basics will help:  eat healthy foods daily, and restrict your intake of unhealthy foods; exercise regularly; avoid caffeine and tobacco use, and limit alcohol consumption; and of course, get enough sleep.

Everyone encounters stress at work. It’s a natural and normal human reaction. The difference between letting the stress overcome you and coping with it is getting a head start by creating a positive environment and lifestyle. 

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Celebrating 40 years in staffing excellence! Contact us today

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