Everyone at one time or another will feel the pressures of work, which can create feelings of stress and possibly anxiety. If stress becomes overwhelming and persistent, the effects can have a harmful impact on mental and physical health including mood swings, disturbed sleep, high blood pressure, under and over-eating, or drinking.
What can you do to manage your stress at work and make sure you are able to be your best self?
- Track your stress triggers – it’s often quite hard to pinpoint the things making us stressed, so monitoring the triggers by either jotting down the way you feel on your phone or notepad is a useful way of tracking. It’s not always possible to avoid triggers, but at least once we’ve identified them, we can develop strategies to deal with them.
- Establish boundaries – draw a line on availability. Set yourself a rule to not check work emails or make calls after a certain time during the evening and weekends. If you need a helping hand, set your phone to ‘do not disturb’. It’s also equally as important to establish what is and isn’t achievable and what can be expected from you in terms of workload and deadlines.
- Evaluate and tailor communication – feedback and conflict, although hard to take, have their place to help us learn, evolve, and adapt. Dealing with difficult situations can make us defensive, self-conscious, and angry – such as an over-zealous line manager or a colleague who may be trying to throw us off our game, it can be hard to know how to deal with these situations, but take some time to:
- Think and don’t be hasty to respond
- Listen and reflect
- Identify points of agreement and disagreement
- Develop a plan to work through conflict which may arise.
- Recharge and relax - when you’re feeling busy, stressed, or anxious, relaxing can challenging to implement and maintain, it takes practise. Taking care of your physical and mental health by taking time out for you can mean:
- Eating healthily
- Getting enough sleep
- Exercising regularly (or practise yoga and meditation)
- Doing activities you enjoy outside of work.
- Practise mindfulness – Mindfulness.org defines mindfulness as the “ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us”. So how do we achieve this?
- Take time for yourself and start the day with a relaxing routine – even if this means waking up half an hour earlier in the morning so you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and listen to the day waking up outside your window, without the distractions of being online
- Don’t let the exercise slide
- Treat yourself to something you enjoy daily – this could be as simple as buying yourself a nice lunch or taking 20 minutes to read a few chapters of a book.
- Build up resilience - resilience is not only the ability to bounce back but to face up to challenges.
- Practise being assertive and straightforward – Mind Tools provides tips on assertiveness on its website
- Work-life balance is important to gain perspective – and can be achieved by some of our suggestions earlier in the blog
- Build a support network – via colleagues, your line manager and out-of-office communities.
In conclusion, what to do to manage stress and wellbeing?
- Track your stress triggers
- Establish boundaries
- Evaluate and tailor communication
- Recharge and relax
- practice mindfulness
- Build up resilience.
If you have any top tips on how you deal with stress and manage your wellbeing, let us know.
To find out more about how CLTI can support your professional journey visit www.clti.com. We also offer bespoke training and coaching for organisations, email email@example.com.
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