You know that feeling of relief when you finally receive that job acceptance letter after applying to tons of places? If you answered yes, then you must also know that that feeling of relief is quite temporary and stress continues its reign in our life. Workplace stress can be more severe because you expect it to end when that clock strikes 5 and it is time to go home. However, that stress lingers either through more work to complete or through its impact on your body in the form of fatigue or headaches. While there is no end to that stress, together, we can try to cope with it by getting these few strategies into our routines :
Reflecting involves keeping track of the situations, people, circumstances and environment that triggered your stress responses. It also involves tracking those responses and their effectiveness. For eg: the air conditioning in your office space is faulty due to which it gets extremely hot and sweaty which results in you being angsty and irritable, often to your colleagues or customers. In such an instance, the stressor is the faulty air conditioning and your being irritable is an ineffective stress response. A solution to this particular situation could be talking to your supervisor or administration to get the issue fixed.
However, stressors, unlike the above example, cannot always be in our control. Such stressors make reflections even more vital. For eg: you were dealing with an extremely rude customer. As an employee, you cannot be rude to them but it still is stressful for you. How do you respond to such a situation – do you go for a walk? Or do you talk among other employees? Keeping track of such responses will help you come up with a pattern of effective ways to handle similar situations in future and let go of your ineffective responses.
What are some healthy responses?
A lot of people try to combat stress in dangerous ways such as resorting to alcohol, drugs, fast food or even video game addiction as well. Some healthy ways to manage your overall stress include:
As mentioned before, it is very easy to get carried away with work and let it seep into your personal and social life in detrimental ways. Workplace stress can make you neglect taking care of your health, maintaining social relationships or looking after your house. To avoid reaching that stage, one must establish boundaries and set limits. For eg: If you are working 9-5, work only that time. Allot time to your kitchen, personal care and social life. If you do have more work that can be done at home, take it or assign it to yourself as per your schedule. Try not to let that extra work cut down on your time with your friends, partner, family, yourself or your house.
Recognizing that it’s unrealistic to achieve perfection in every task, especially in a demanding and fast-paced job, a prudent approach involves aiming to do your best and taking moments to acknowledge and commend your efforts. This shift in perspective can lead to improved outcomes and a reduction in workplace stress.
Salary, while satisfying for some, can become absorbed by expenses such as rent, insurance, and savings over time, losing its initial sense of reward and significance. Hence, it becomes essential to establish means of self-reward and self-congratulation for your contributions. This may encompass practices like self-affirmations, solo movie outings, or indulging in small treats like ice cream.