Tips To Overcome Work Stress

Work stress is a major issue for many Americans. The American Institute of Stress has found that 75% of employees believe they have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago, with 1 in 4 employees viewing their job as the number one stressor in their lives

The good news is there are steps we can take to limit overwhelm and cultivate more work/life balance.  

Here are common causes of work stress

  1. Taking on too much
    • Wouldn’t it be great if we could do everything on our to-do lists, solve every problem, and still have time to watch our favorite TV show at night? Especially for us overfunctioners, it can be hard to accept the reality of having a finite amount of time and energy each day.
  2. Taking things personally
    • Many of us identify with our jobs. This is not necessarily harmful, though basing our worth on our job performance is a recipe for stress. Making a mistake or having an “off” day could easily lead to self-critical thoughts of feeling like a failure or not feeling good enough. Even if you’re performing well at work, the stress of maintaining your level of achievement will remain so long as you’re tying your performance to your worth.  
    • Work is affecting you or your family after-hours
      • Taking work home with us, whether literally or metaphorically, can be extremely draining. Work takes up enough of our time, so it is worth putting your foot down when it starts to seep into our personal lives. We’re human beings… we’re more than just employees at our places of work!  

      Helpful tips to reduce your work stress

      If you are feeling burnt out, here are some tips to manage your work stress:

      1. Ask yourself: What am I doing that’s too much right now? What can I cut out or ask for help on?
        • Choose your valued direction of what you’ll act on and what you’ll let go of. For more guidance on how to slow down in life a bit more, check out this blog.
      2. Remember that the quality of your work does not reflect your value as a person.  
        • If you receive negative criticism at work, keep in mind that many external variables may be at play. Your performance could be great, but your colleague may be biased, in a bad mood, or under pressure from higher-level management. Take negative criticism with a grain of salt, though stay open to feedback. Don’t let the fear of insecurity stop you from an opportunity for growth. After all, constructive criticism is not personal . 
      3. Say no to things that are outside of your limits.
        • Have you been asked to take on another project when you don’t have the bandwidth? Say no. Have you been asked to work overtime, and you feel repulsed by the idea? Say no. Your sanity is not worth sacrificing!  
      4. Prioritize the important or urgent tasks.
        • Consider writing out a list at the beginning of your workday of the “must-dos” you know you must get done. This can help you stay organized and ensure these items are handled during work hours.  
      5. Turn off work notifications.
        • The last thing you need while relaxing at home is an email involving more responsibility for you. If you’re not clocked in, the do-not-disturb phone feature is your BFF.
      6. Consider doing some self-esteem work.
        • As you begin to detach your perceived worth from your job, consider doing some self-esteem work to lay the foundation for stronger self-acceptance.
        • In addition to these tips, it’s highly encouraged to have a strong stress management/self-care routine outside of work (eating nutritious foods, exercising, practicing mindfulness, etc.). Cultivating a work/life balance is an ongoing challenge for many of us. Be gentle with yourself

      Sometimes, having a counselor or therapist to talk to can be a huge stress relief. Discussing your situation and how you feel about your work stresses will help you recognize that you have someone on your side. Importantly, a counselor can provide objective but constructive advice for handling your situation.

      If you would like to speak to a therapist at Mindfully, contact us today at 888-830-0347. Our expert therapists will help you work through the work (pun intended!)

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