How to Survive and Thrive in a Stressful Work Environment
Every job has some form of stress, but how well you cope determines if you will be emotionally and mentally stable enough to thrive and survive in such environments. Our careers can be quite demanding especially when they lead to stress. However, there are ways to manage the job (and the stress) and not let it get the better of you. The following are ways in which you can do this:
Manage your Tasks, not Your Time
Many times you’ll hear people talk about time management, which is a well-understood phrase, but is something of a misnomer. Time cannot be managed in most cases. You will have a certain amount of time to complete a task at work, and there’s usually not much you can do to change that. However, you can manage your tasks so that you can complete them in the expected time period. This is a difference in mindset that will ensure that your work does not pile up, resulting in an increase in your stress levels. Think of your work day as about four to five hours of effort, and decide early how you’re going to spend that effort. This is the amount of time the average person can reasonably hope to focus during an 8 hour work day. Breaks and “slacking off” occasionally are just as important to avoiding feelings of overwhelming stress as knuckling down and banging out that report your boss asked for.
When you feel overwhelmed, plan to do the tasks according to their importance and urgency so that those tasks that need attention can be quickly attended to. This enables you to go about your day and tasks in an organized manner. You should also ensure that you take up the work that you are able to handle. Avoid overloading yourself in the beginning, and add tasks as it becomes clear that you can do them.
Exercise and Eat Well
So as to be physically fit and mentally alert, you need to exercise regularly. This helps you to perform well at work and boosts your energy levels. When you are able to perform, the work won’t seem stressful. Exercise rejuvenates your body and mind, making you more capable to handle and environment. Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress. Eating well also ensures that you are energized and emotionally balanced. This is why, ideally, you should eat food that enables you to maintain your focus, health blood sugar, and mood. Exercise has also been identified as a key method of fighting depression.
Plan your Day
Be sure to start off your day with a set plan. Set a realistic goal or two that you would like to achieve during your day, and focus on those tasks as much as possible. When you do this, you are able to avoid procrastinating or piling up your workload. This makes your tasks more manageable, and reduces stress.
Learn to have open communication with your co-workers and managers. Communicating with workers who hold positions that influence your performance directly or indirectly also enables you to create good relationships , and helps result in a better performance for everyone involved. When you feel overwhelmed by a task, communicate this and seek for support.
Get Enough Rest
At the end of a stressful day, you need some time to unwind and rest so that you may wake up the following day energized. You should form a habit of getting regular sleep. Do not go to bed with thoughts about your work and its demands. A good night’s sleep also makes you more emotionally balanced and able to cope with stress. The average person needs about 7-9 hours of sleep a night, so make sure you’re somewhere in this range.
Bonus Tip: Seek Counseling
At the end of the day, there’s no substitute for professional advice and counseling. Whether you are suffering from stress at home or work, or just need someone to talk to, Caree Brown can help. If you’re suffering from stress, depression, anxiety, or any other affliction that can be resolved with therapy, Caree can help. Call, or schedule an appointment if you want to get a professional opinion to help you combat the stress of your daily life.