Coping with work-based stress

This job would be easy if it wasn’t for all the stress!

Work can sometimes be a stressful environment. Dealing with challenging situations and individuals, often with conflicting demands and needs can cause stress to build up. You might be feeling pressured or unsupported and your confidence might be low. You might feel that your workload is too much and that your work (and health) is suffering. If this sounds like you, then read on for some practical ideas to help reduce work-place stress.

Ideas for dealing with work-placed stress

We all face periods of difficulty at work. A certain amount of stress can usually be absorbed and may actually help us to perform well in challenging situations. However, ongoing chronic stress can reduce our ability to cope and our resilience, leading to a drop in performance and potential issues with our physical and/or mental health.

We are all responsible for thinking about and managing our own stress levels. Being proactive about our stress management is essential to maintain our mental wellbeing. So, what can we do to try and alleviate ongoing stress?

At work:

  • Talk to your manager (or their manager if they are part of the issue) about workload, professional relationships, training needs and work/life balance? Think about practical, realistic solutions to the issues that will benefit yourself and the team you work in.
  • Try to take regular breaks, ideally away from your desk.
  • Have a “shut-down” procedure for the end of the day, to help you leave work behind when you go home; switch your computer off, make a list of tasks for the following day, clear your desk etc.
  • Acknowledge your own feelings as valid, but also appreciate that you cannot control how others behave, only how you react to them.
  • Talk to Occupational Health and/or Human Resources.

Outside of work:

  • Make sure you eat regularly and healthily.
  • Make sure you get enough rest and sleep.
  • Try and exercise regularly. Exercise has been proven to reduce the level of stress hormones in our bodies and help us sleep better.
  • Consider mindfulness or meditation as a means to calm the mind, soothe the body and be present in the moment instead of worrying about the past or future.
  • Do things that you enjoy with family, friends or by yourself.
  • Consider volunteering as this has been shown to promote feel-good hormones and improve your mental wellbeing.

Useful Contacts: 

  • People at Work – login to “My EAP” via your organisation’s website or call us on 020 3286 1545 (available 24/7)

© People at Work 2020