In a previous post on our Mental Health series, we talked about dealing with anxiety in the workplace. Today I would like to talk about another important Mental Health Disorder we should all know how to address. Either because we are facing it. Or because someone in our team is, it is important to count on the right tools to tackle it. I want to remind you that even though this blog post is written by a Mental Health professional, you should always seek a Professional near you. So, What is Stress? How can we deal with workplace stress?
What is Stress?
The APA defines Stress as a physiological or psychological response to internal or external factors. Which manifests as sweating, dry mouth, shortness of breath, palpitations, negative emotions, fidgeting, among others. Stress has an impact on our well-being and our lives. Sometimes it is necessary, but we need to learn to spot it when it becomes a problem. At some point in our careers, we have all felt pressure with work-related subjects. Regardless of the passion and love we have for what we do, our jobs can have stressful elements. But if this stress becomes constant it can be harmful. So what can we do to keep stress down to healthy levels?
Identify Your Stressors
The first part of dealing with a problem is accepting is a problem in itself. If we are feeling stressed from work-related causes then we need to identify what exactly these causes are and how we are reacting to them. In this identification process, we need to familiarize ourselves with how often we face the situation or stressor and how we felt as it happened and as it passed.
Once you are able to identify them, you can then start dealing with workplace stress.
We recently talked about this in our work-life balance post. And I believe it is so important to establish limits and boundaries. Institute routines and times of the day for each thing you must work on. Delimitate your workspace from other spaces at the office or at home. Take short breaks, you can not be your 9-hour shift working on the same thing.
These limits also include the ones mentioned in the previous article, do not check your email constantly outside of working hours. Do not bring your work problems to your home. It can bring stressors where they do not belong, and the situation worsens in little time.
Do not Multi-task
The results of multi-tasking are that you don’t get anything done. Everything is halfway done, investing twice the time. And that is a reality I have had to face. Multitasking leads to errors as well. So a big part of dealing with workplace stress is being honest with yourself. Multi-tasking is not an effective form of work. If you have different objectives or tasks you need to complete on a given day I suggest you prioritize them. By workload and urgency.
Start with the most urgent matters of your day. Then once those are out of your way, start with the ones that will take most of your time, focus, and energy. Then Finish your day dealing with smaller tasks.
Set Realistic Goals
I am sure you want your work to be perfect. We all do. But, sometimes we need to understand we may not be able to have perfect results every time. So, avoid being a perfectionist about your job and task. However, always try to do your best. Give yourself little reinforcements every time you finish a difficult or overwhelming task.
Find What Works for You
This is the most important part, and I believe for this we always need help from our social circles and sometimes even professional help. I personally reduce workplace stress by being in an environment that is completely quiet. But I know some people need noise or music to deal with stress. So, remember, not everything that has worked for others, may work for you. It is important that you know yourself and what works for you in other settings. If you do, then finding a solution to work-related stress would be simpler.
Remember, if the stressful situation becomes more than you can bear, always seek professional help near you!