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  • Sharon Burbidge

How to Manage Stress in the Workplace

Government figures show that currently 1.6 million people are off work with work related illness, of which half is due to stress. How can you make sure it is not you?


The pressure of constantly rising expectations to perform at your peak in unique and challenging conditions alongside the fear of being fired due to budget cuts caused by the pandemic is enough to make anyone feel under pressure. Add on top of that the stress of organising a socially-distanced Christmas and it’s no wonder you're struggling to cope!


Countless studies show that excess stress can cause physical symptoms such as headaches,

increased blood pressure, chest pain, and trouble sleeping. And it’s not isolated to specific industries– the issue is widespread. Nearly 65% of adults say that work is the source of their significant stress.


However not all stress is necessarily bad for you. A certain amount of healthy stress in the workplace is actually a good thing, and experts point out that good stress is actually useful for individuals to make breakthroughs and for companies to grow.


Negative work stress can come from a variety of factors, such as feeling disorganised, trying to tackle too much at once, not knowing what your supervisors expects of you, conflicts in the workplace and even not using your break time effectively.


How to minimise workplace stressors:

1) Prioritise your tasks for the day to distinguish which ones need to be completed first.

2) Make a to-do list and order your tasks from most to least urgent. This can be done at the

start of each day, or even better try planning your whole week before you start work on a

Monday to make sure you are the most productive you can be.

3) Set realistic deadlines for everything, and everything will get done. Use your calendar to

know what needs to be done by when to reduce the stress of having to rush something last

minute.

4) Everyone makes mistakes, you just need to learn from them.


What can I do outside of work to reduce the impact of work stressors on my mental health?


1) Start the day off with planning, good nutrition, and a positive attitude; you might find that the stress of your job is easier to manage.

2) Many people turn to unhealthy “comfort foods” as stress management at work. However, it's important to eat healthy foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates that fuel your brain and support concentration and focus.

3) You can combat the physical and mental effects of work stress by getting some exercise on your lunch break. This can help you blow off steam, lift your mood, and get into better shape.

4) A lack of sleep inhibits your ability to cope with even normal amounts of stress, and negatively affects your mood and outlook. Try to aim for around 8 hours of sleep a night to set you up properly for the next day.


While dealing with pressure at work alongside all of life's other stresses can be difficult, employing even one of these tips into your daily routine could make a difference to how well you are able to tackle this stress.


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