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How to Reduce Stress at Work

Posted by EHS Insight Staff on May 31, 2019 at 10:55 AM

For many people, work is one of the biggest sources of stress in life, and understandably so. Having a job is crucial for supporting yourself, and many people are incredibly passionate about what they do for work as well. Combine these factors with deadlines, challenging coworkers, and other problems, and you have the perfect recipe for stress.

To prevent workplace stress from getting overwhelming, it's important to have some coping mechanisms that you can use. Here's how to reduce stress at work.

Schedule breaks during the day

One of the reasons that many people feel so stressed at work is because they don't take enough breaks. You might think that skipping out on a break will help you get more done, but it can make you less productive. If you work for several hours straight without taking a break, you're more likely to slow down and hit a wall in terms of productivity. Schedule natural breaks for yourself during your workday. Take 10 minutes every few hours to go for a walk, do some stretching, or just watch a funny video online. These short breaks will help your brain reset so stress doesn't build up. 

Identify what's causing the stress

Knowing what exactly is making you stressed out can also make the problem much easier to fix. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a few minutes to note down why you feel that way. This may require a bit of introspection, but it can be very helpful in the long run. Maybe it's an aggressive coworker, a challenging project, or just feeling like you don't have enough time in the day. Once you identify stressors that are happening in a pattern, you can talk to your supervisor about making changes to fix them. 

Set your boundaries

In today's digital world, it's easier than ever for home life and work life to blend together. Setting boundaries for your time off is absolutely crucial to a healthy work mindset. Talk to your boss and come up with an agreement about when it is and isn't appropriate for you to be working after hours. For example, you might decide not to answer emails after a certain time every day, or that work calls on the weekends should only be for true emergencies. In order for you to rest and recharge, your time off needs to really be time off. 

Prioritize your work

If you have a lot on your plate, it's easy to get overwhelmed quickly, even if all the tasks are firmly within your capabilities. A good way to handle a huge workload is to set priorities and make a schedule for yourself. Focus on one task at a time, as multitasking can make you feel more stressed. You may have to accept that you aren't going to get everything done today, so start with what's most urgent and then go from there. 

Stress at work can be frustrating, but by setting boundaries and being intentional with your behavior, you can keep it under control. Your mental health is important to your success at work, so be sure not to neglect it.

Topics: Workplace Health and Safety, Safety Tips

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