How to cope with work-related stress

23 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

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Almost everyone has, at one point or another, experienced stress as a result of their job. The pressure of looming deadlines, frequent meetings, piles of paperwork and an endless to-do list can make even the most diligent and capable of people feel overwhelmed. If you're feeling frazzled and are struggling to handle everyday tasks at work,  here are a few suggestions which may help to get you back on track.

Prioritise self-care

When you have a challenging job that involves long hours and a lot of responsibility, self-care activities might seem like a frivolous waste of time. In reality however, looking after your own needs - and thereby reducing your stress levels - will not only improve your quality of life, but will also enhance your performance at work. You're far more likely to do your duties to the best of your ability when you feel calm and well-rested.

Self-care activities don't have to be time-consuming or costly. Taking a 15-minute  bath in the evening with a few drops of lavender essential oil can help to relieve the tension that has built up in your body and allow you to get a better night's sleep. Short bursts of exercise each day can also do wonders for your general mood; a quick walk outside during your lunch break, an early-morning yoga class or a dip in the local swimming pool at the end of the day will increase your energy levels and produce stress-fighting endorphins (sometimes called the 'happy hormones'). Daily meditation, a healthy diet and spending quality time with your loved ones can also make it easier to cope with a demanding career. 

Talk to your boss

Job-related stress often crops up when your workload becomes too large to manage. In such cases, it might be worth speaking to your supervisor about the possibility of reallocating some of the tasks which have been assigned to you, or perhaps extending one or more of your deadlines. Whilst this might be a difficult conversation to have, it's important to realise that your boss will most likely have come across this situation before and will be prepared to reach a compromise that suits both of you. Provided you are reasonable and polite in your request, you will probably be pleasantly surprised at how accommodating they are.

Seek the help of a professional

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may find yourself unable to handle a challenging workload. If your stress levels have reached an all-time high because of this situation and you are beginning to experience mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, then it is best to seek the advice of your general practitioner. They may be able to offer you medication or refer you to a trained counsellor who can help you to work through the problems you are struggling with.