Feeling some tension and stress at work is normal, particularly when you have a looming deadline, tricky project or are juggling many priorities. But it is important to understand when work stress becomes burnout and damaging to both your physical and emotional well-being.
Being mindful of work stress can have positive impacts on both your personal and work life. Whether your job is s permanent office-based position or a temporary one involving manual work. Anyone can experience stress. That’s why we have put together some steps to help you begin to take control of your stress at work:
1. Take time to recharge
It is important to take time away from work and really use your free time for yourself. Taking a few minutes during your lunch break at work to listen to a podcast or watch something you like can help with feelings of stress and helps to create boundaries between what is work time and what is personal time.
It’s also important to take breaks from thinking about your job by not checking work-related emails whilst you’re off. You can also choose to disconnect from your phone in the evenings to help you really switch off and relax.
2. Move your body
Being physically active means sitting down less and moving our bodies more. Even if you are in work in a role that is physically active, it is still important to be moving your body outside of work time.
Exercise has many benefits that will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you're feeling which will help you to manage your problems more calmly, including:
better sleep – exercise uses energy so by the end of the day you feel more tired and ready for a good night's sleep
happier moods – physical activity releases feel-good hormones that make you feel better in yourself and give you more energy
managing stress, anxiety, and racing thoughts – doing something physical releases cortisol which is your body’s main stress hormone. This is a positive coping strategy as it gives your brain something else to focus on which overall helps manage stress. Cortisol plays an important role in a number of things in your body, one of which is the ability to boost your energy to help you handle stress before regulating and restoring balance afterwards.
3. Understand what is expected of you in your role
A common reason many people begin to feel stressed at work is when they are unclear about what is expected from them as an employee. If you don’t know exactly what is expected of you, or the expectations in your role keep changing with minor notice, you could begin to feel more stressed.
If you feel unclear about your requirements, you may benefit from arranging a talk with your manager or supervisor to discuss expectations which in turn can relieve stress for both parties!
4. Consider how you are using your time at work
If you feel particularly overwhelmed and stressed at work, it is important to ensure you remain organised and manage your time well to help reduce stress:
Set realistic goals. Work with colleagues and leaders to set expectations you can meet. Set regular progress reviews and adjust your goals when needed.
Make a priority list. Prepare a list of tasks and rank them in order of priority. You can use your list throughout the day and work on tasks in priority order. It is also important to say no if you don't have time to do a task, rather than putting too much on your agenda for one day.
Protect your time. For a particularly important or difficult project, make sure to block out time to work on it without interruption. That said, it is also important to break large projects into smaller steps to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
5. Make use of employee benefits
Make yourself aware of the employee benefits at your workplace. All Thrive employees have access to a virtual 24/7 GP, free health assessments, and free counselling through the Thrive Benefits App.
6. Use free resources to talk to someone and seek advice
There are several brilliant organisations and charities that can help with combatting workplace stress.
Mind – offers training for employers and toolkits to help them assist employees who require support.
Anxiety UK – offers a phone line to support those with questions on how to prevent anxiety and stress at work.
Time to Change - aims to tackle the stigma attached to mental health and strives to open up a conversation about health. “No one should be made to feel ashamed because of a mental health problem”.
We understand the requirements of workers who want to be able to quickly access information and support they need, when they need it. That’s why we’ve created an app with essential employee information and benefits, which is available to all our candidates.
Looking for a change? Work for a workplace that can support you in managing your stress. Take a look at our vacancies to find a new role that suits you and your needs.