Do you lie awake at night fretting over deadlines, worrying about productivity, stressing over the next presentation? What will you do about that difficult co-worker? Does your boss believe you’re worth a pay raise?
Work-related stress has a way of following you home, and taking up residence in your head.
Unchecked work stress mustn’t go unchecked for long. Otherwise, it gets in the way of your physical health, your relationships, and mental and emotional resilience.
Consider the following coping strategies to de-stress and get a good night’s rest:
Be mindful. Practice being present. Think acceptance, not control.
Just stop for a minute. Now, stop for 30 minutes to think about what’s happening right now.
What do your senses tell you about the current moment?
Recognise that the current moment is your only realm of influence. Accept what is happening. Don’t force anything else to happen. Do place value on your feelings.
Meditate. Just let it all be.
Your responsibilities are real, but you can only accomplish them at a time.
Deal with physical tension. Breathe through stress, rather than brace for it.
When you are constantly bracing for a rough ride at work, you do things to manage like skip meals or binge on the wrong foods, compensate for exhaustion with caffeine, forgo exercise and fresh air, and more. You even forget to take deep, cleansing breaths. Your body needs you to be more careful. Your body needs to be de-stressed often. Try the following ways:
- Learn several deep breathing exercises, and employ them throughout the day, to release tension and clear your head.
- Go outside. Take a break. Walk away. You need to change the scenery every so often to interrupt negative thinking.
- Exercise. Aim for 30 minutes daily. If you really want to get the most out of your work day, exercise can clear up those stress hormones, and provide a dose of feel-good brain chemicals that will help you view your job in a whole new light.
Offer compassion rather than condemnation.
Say nice, encouraging, kind things. Say them in your head and say them out loud. Work stress is greatly affected by the quality of your relationships and the way you feel about yourself. Language is a powerful tool in both cases.
Make sure your self-talk isn’t stressing you out. When you make a mistake, refrain from calling yourself an idiot, or stupid. Admit your mistakes, then move on. You’ll find that you spend less time in your head ruminating, and more time interacting with others positively.
That said, extend that same grace to others too. It’s easy to label other people and respond accordingly. That usually ends up in stressful misunderstanding and lost opportunity. Instead, give compliments and pats on the back. Office stress just might dissipate.
Manage overwhelm with intention. Don’t let obligation overwhelm your purpose.
Do you know what you’re doing? Why you’re doing it? It can be pretty stressful to think you’re spinning your wheels, failing to make a real contribution, or are lost in the shuffle. Alleviate stress by purposefully examining your wants, goals, and dreams.
Check in with yourself regularly. Allow yourself to see the bigger picture.
- What are my intentions today?
- What have I learned about myself? About others?
- How am I progressing toward my goals?
Take time to look internally, where your peace of mind lives and waits for you to claim it.
If stress still has a grip on you, consider regular sessions with a counsellor who can help you find more ways to live a less stressful, integrated and balanced life.
Call Neil Ward Counselling in Glasgow on 07970 860 711, for stress management to help you cope better with work-related stress.
Face-to-face, telephone and Skype video sessions are available.