Work stress and health problems that arise from it have become such a common issue that organizations are now taking steps to combat job stress by introducing measures to help their employees and maintain work productivity.
Causes of work-related stress
There are various factors that cause workplace stress.
• Long working hours on a regular basis
• Unreasonable amount of work on a daily basis
• A fussy boss
• Conflict with colleagues or boss
• Lack of certain skills
• Fear of redundancy
• Lack of friends in the workplace
• Lack of flexibility of schedule
• Bad working conditions
• Lack of support
Symptoms of work-related stress
Job stress symptoms can range from physical symptoms to psychological and even emotional symptoms. These might be:
• Chest pains
• Panic attacks
• Digestive issues
• Lack of confidence
• Change in behavior
• Change in eating patterns
• Lack of motivation
Stress management at work
However meticulously you schedule your day chances are things may not go as planned. There might be emergencies at work. You might have to finish a last-minute report and miss out on a family dinner. Your to-do list might have not changed since you had to share workload of a coworker who suddenly had to go to the hospital.
Things at workplace could be going haywire. Coping with work stress therefore must be an essential part of your everyday routine. There are simple ways to relieve stress at work. If you incorporate a few daily rituals to manage your job stress, you will not only ensure peace of mind for yourself and your family but also maintain and improve your performance at work.
Causes of Poor Job Satisfaction
- Sleeping problems
- Heart problems
- Choose a job that suits your requirements
- Don't get involved in office politics
- Spend quality time with your family
Setting the tone of your entire day when you first wake up in the morning, can significantly help you reduce stress levels later at your workplace. Before you decide to do this as a stress buster exercise ask yourself:
• How do you begin your day? With a smile or with a groan?
• How you spend the next five minutes of your time upon waking up? Do you jump down from the bed and begin to hustle and bustle and already stressed out that you might be late? Or do you take a few minutes to just enjoy your cozy bed or cuddle with your partner or child?
• Do you wake up groggy and tired as if you haven’t had any sleep? Or do you wake up refreshed ready to tackle any challenges you might be thrown at work?
This list of questions can become very long. How you answered the above questions can reveal a lot to you and pinpoint you to what you need to change in your routine. Chances are you already knew this. But reflecting on self-improvement methods can reinforce healthy habits that we might overlook or ignore because of our busy work schedules. Hence you can start a new morning routine to reduce stress.
• Spend a few minutes in bed upon waking up. Take a few deep breaths and relax.
• If possible develop an exercise routine even if you can only spare not more than ten minutes every day.
• Eat a good breakfast.
• Manage your morning time well so that you are not late for work.
If you are often dealing with stress at work make sure you prioritize your tasks first thing upon arrival in the office. Make a list and tick tasks as you complete them. This will help you keep your schedule on track without stress.
• Be flexible. Be ready to alter your to-do list if something more important comes your way during the day.
• Cut short your lunch and schedule a doctor’s appointment or any other errands you need to run.
• Don’t let anyone distract you from your work. Your colleagues in the next cubicle might not have a tight schedule that day and would want to gossip but if you have a full schedule, gently let them know and focus on your work.
Make friends with mini breaks
Even if you are inundated with work it is imperative that you take mini breaks every few hours just to keep your energy levels high and boredom at bay.
• Sit back at your desk and close your eyes for a few minutes. Rub your palms together and put them on your closed eyes to soothe your tired peepers.
• Take a break from your computer screen and go for a walk if your workplace has access to open spaces.
• Talk to a friend for a few minutes. General chit-chat with a fun friend can really help reduce stress.
• Listen to your favorite music or take a nap. Several organizations now have a nap area for their employees.
Keep burnout at bay
Boredom or dissatisfaction can creep up in your ideal jobs too. Do not let your unfocussed state of mind adversely affect your work.
• Take a few days off if you feel burnout rearing its ugly head. No, you won’t miss anything. But if you keep working at levels that are not your optimum, chances are you might miss that promotion.
• If burnout persists, talk to your family or confide in a friend. Do not be averse to seeking help. Talk to your boss and request a lighter workload until you feel better.
• Do not waste this rest time stressing about missing work or your condition. Instead indulge in recreational activities you never had the time for anymore. Meditate or seek counsel and try to find the reason you feel bored with your work.
• Make changes if necessary. Do not stick to an unsatisfactory job and compromise your health and relationships. If you are confident of your skills you will find another job more suited to your priorities.
Coping with work stress is not difficult. You can’t keep it at a distance always. But if you know ways to deal with your job stress, you can manage your work life better.