Work-related stress is extremely common in the United States. We are constantly pushed to work hard every second of the day, and we talk about our jobs like they define us. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), most Americans experience anxiety and stress daily. Of these working Americans, 72% of them report that their stress at least moderately interferes with their daily lives.
Tips for Managing Work-Related Anxiety
Just like with any type of stress or anxiety, there is no right or wrong way to process work-related stress. That said, if you are unsure what you can do to more effectively manage your stress at work, you can use some of these tips to help create a sustainable and effective stress management toolkit for yourself.
So, without further ado, here are some techniques you can use to manage your work-related stress.
Implement Healthy Habits
When we are chronically stressed, it can shove our bodies into a sort of fight or flight mode where we may sacrifice certain (but important) areas of our well-being in favor of assessing our stressors. To combat this unconscious stress reaction, you will want to ensure you give your body everything it needs to be happy.
This means getting enough sleep at night, eating healthy meals, and exercising regularly. Also, be sure to avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, as these can alter the state of your mind and not allow your body to function properly.
This may seem like a challenge if work is what is stressing you out, but the reality is that keeping busy can boost our self-esteem and keep us feeling productive. This can be incredibly valuable when feeling anxious because it does not allow us to stew in negative feelings.
Talk to a Trusted Coworker
We are all social creatures, and having someone to talk to can be a great stress reliever for many of us. Having a trusted coworker who knows about your anxiety can be a source of comfort. It can ultimately help to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety you are feeling about work.
Work on Time Management
When all of your time is managed effectively, you will be keeping the perfect balance of busy and relaxed that you need to maintain effective working behaviors and relationships. You can try using to-do lists, calendar planners, or even scheduling your day hour-by-hour on your phone.
The point is to find a system that works for you and your preferences that allows you to easily manage the work you are responsible for in a realistic timeline, which brings us to our next point.
You can’t do everything. No one can do everything. If you do not have the time to take on a new task, do not take it on. Your coworkers, boss, and anyone else all understand that no one person can do everything.
Many people don’t prioritize a clean desk space when they feel stressed out, but years of studies and articles have shown that being in a mess contributes to our stress levels. Messes actively cause stress, so if you are already overwhelmed by the work you need to do, coming in to work each day to a messy desk will not make your day any easier.
Try to keep a clean and organized workspace so that you can easily assess what needs to be done each day without getting overwhelmed by papers and pens all over the place.
Sometimes simply knowing how or why something affects our bodies can bring a level of calm and understanding that can reduce stress levels. Consider looking into the causes of stress in your life or the workplace, and you may feel less affected by these stressors going forward.
Quality Over Quantity
Rather than focusing on getting as much as you can done in a day or getting your work done as quickly as possible, try focusing on getting it done as best as you can. When we rush through work, we are more likely to make errors and need to revise them later. This can lead to more time spent overall on the work and a lot more stress.
Humans are animals, and all animals need rest. So while we may not be able to realistically sleep an average of 15 hours a day like cats, we need to make time for our bodies to rest. And yes, sleep is an important type of rest, but it is not the only type of rest we need.
We need to take breaks throughout the day when we are not thinking about the emails we need to send or the projects we need to work on. We need to take time to let our minds relax and recover from our busy workdays.
You work to make an income so that you can pay bills, put food on the table, and fund your hobbies and interests. You do not work because that is all you have in your life. Do not let your work consume your life by taking emails, texts, or calls at all hours of the day.
Give yourself the time that is not dedicated to work — time that is dedicated to you and your interests. Create boundaries in your life that dictate when and where you work and when you don’t.
When to Get Help
Asking for help is not a bad thing. There are things that we simply cannot do alone in life, and this is nothing to feel bad about. Whether you need to ask a coworker for help on a report, your boss for an extended timeline on a project that just isn’t working quite right, or HR for some time off, there is nothing wrong with asking for what you need.
Similarly, if you find yourself unable to manage your work-related stress using these tips (or you simply want some additional help), please don’t hesitate to ask for professional help. You can contact us today at Love Heal Grow to schedule an appointment with a therapist who can help you navigate your work stress healthily and effectively.