A new research conducted at The Australian National University shows that “people who work more than 39 hours a week are putting their health at risk”. Another study conducted in May last year where half the respondents were Indians found out that around one-third of them blamed productivity demands from employers as stressful. Also, eighty percent Americans according to a study by Nielsen for Everest College are stressed at work. All these studies point to a universal phenomenon i.e. stress is omnipresent, but it’s impact depends on how one tackles it.
While stress is necessary to help us do well, an unhealthy amount of stressors in our work life can compromise our physical and mental well-being. Stress comes with a cost, however whatever be the reason i.e. fear of losing job, low salary, strained relationship with colleagues etc., we still need to have control over our mind before all hell breaks loose.
Find a friend/confidante
It is true that our phones are slowly becoming our best friend, but you need to make human contact and actually speak with people. Of course, you may not be best of friends with your colleagues and so you may say how then can you share what’s bothering you. But unless you speak to them or get to know them how will you identify who you can actually confide in. Right? Don’t divulge details, but at least when you communicate your mind’s working, they will probably help you gain a fresh perspective. In time you might be able to trust their judgement and their counsel, both of which can help alleviate stress.
Stop judging yourself
Identify the kind of stressors afflicting your mind. Sometimes we impose stress on ourselves by being too concerned about our own image. We let the voice in our heads to dictate us. We hyper-criticise ourselves and doubt ourselves so much that it ends up wracking our nerves and eventually shifts our focus doing our best. Or we may just be procrastinating and wasting time doing nothing which results in work piling up on our desks. So, talk yourself out of the mess you are throwing yourself in.
Step out of the situation
Another kind of stress that comes to affect the quality of our work life is roadblocks that aren’t in our control like office politics or red tapism. Even in such cases, try and step out of the situation instead of convoluting it with prejudices.
Let’s assume your name didn’t make it to the list of team going to meet clients in a different city. You quickly conclude that your team leader is biased and deliberately kept you out of it. However, the moment this thought creeps in, try to pause and reason it out. First of all understand that no amount of cribbing can change the current situation and secondly it could have been budgetary constraints? If it happens again, you can speak to your boss during your work review and express your need to go for more client meetings.
Become more organized
Oft times, stress is a result of taking our work for granted. We let the work sit before us for days or months and only when we are nudged off our comfort zone do we realise that we need to buckle up. This can result in unprecedented stress that we somehow deserve because of our sheer callousness. In order to keep work way below the danger mark, become organized. Prepare your to-do lists to outline priorities and pick from urgent and important tasks, start delegating work, make use of your of your outlook calendar, keep away from distractions use online applications like Trello to track team’s work, etc. You must do everything it takes to bring order to chaos you are in right now.
Discuss with your supervisor
Have a tiff with a colleague? Not satisfied with your current role profile? Feel you are being given work that you can’t do alone? This and other factors which you think are discussable with your boss then there is no reason you should delay sending them a meeting request. After all, such factors are emotional burden you will carry both in and out of office. And, naturally it is going to affect your professional commitments.
Relax and unwind
If you are feeling burnt-out then you need to get away from work to revive yourself. Take time out to disengage from everything that has to do with work. No emails. No calls. No meetings. Go on a vacation you most deserve. Switch off from anything that is remotely office work and make the most of your ‘me time’. Indulge yourself. Go to a spa retreat or get back to your hobbies. Join the jazz dance classes you had been meaning to go to. Become mindful of your thoughts and experience and pamper yourself. This should replenish your energy and you will go back to work with enthusiasm.
Once you have stress triggers in control, you will begin to notice changes in your relationship with your colleagues as well. Moreover, you will learn to accept that not everything is worth wasting your breath and sweat on.