Common sources of work stress

Most of us at some point in time have answered yes to this question! When we spend so much of our lives working, it’s normal to experience ups and downs, good days and bad days. But how do you know when it’s all too much?

Some common workplace stressors are:

  • Excessive workloads
  • Lack of growth and opportunities
  • Lack of engaging or challenging work
  • Lack of social support
  • No control over job-related decisions
  • Work related conflicts

Taking steps to manage stress

Monitor your stressors. Keep a journal to identify which situations create the most stress and your response to them. Record your thoughts, feelings, and details about the environment.

  • Where it was?
  • Who was there?
  • What the situation is?
  • When it was?
  • How it made you feel?

Taking notes can help stay aware of your stressors and reactions to them.

Create healthy responses.

  • Eat more healthy foods and avoid alcoholic drinks or fast food.
  • Exercise! and other physical activity produce chemicals in the brain (endorphins) that improve sleep and reduce stress hormones.
  • Prioritise your favorite activities and hobbies. Make sure to create time for the things that bring you joy.
  • Good-quality sleep is an effective method of stress management. Restrict your caffeine consumption and reduce stimulating activities especially the use of screens at night (Phone, TV, computers, etc)

Establish boundaries. Living in a digital world, it certainly feels as though we need to be available 24/7. Create some work-life boundaries for yourself. That might mean having a rule to not check work related emails or messages from home in the evening. Try to avoid answering the work phone after work hours. Setting boundaries between work and home can lower the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes with it.

Recharge. Take time off to relax and unwind when possible, so you come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to work at your best. Take a short holiday if you can! If that’s not possible, get a quick break by switching off your smartphone and bring your focus to non-work activities for a while.

Learn how to relax. Relaxation techniques (meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness) can help eliminate stress. Start by taking a few minutes a day to focus on a simple activity. The skill of being able to focus on a single activity without distraction will become stronger with practice.

Get some support. Ask for help from trusted friends and family. Your employer may also have stress management resources available through an employee assistance program, including online information and referral to mental health professionals. If you are still feeling overwhelmed by stress, you may want to speak to a psychologist, who can professionally help you better manage stress.

If you’re feeling stressed and could use some assistance creating time for that all important work-life balance, we can help!

Contact Lisa today.

- Lisa Hawkings