woman practicing stress management at work

5 Ways to Manage Work Stress

Whether you love or loathe your current position, work can be a significant source of stress. If you allow pressure to build up, you can have symptoms like:

  • Stomach aches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dependence on alcohol or tobacco
  • Angry outbursts

Some people believe that the only way to manage work stress is to find another position. However, any job can cause anxiety. Healthy coping strategies can help you deal with stress, no matter your situation.

Identify the Causes of Stress

Before you can adequately cope with any stress at work, you must specify exactly what the issues are. Knowing what causes the extra pressure can give you an idea of how to approach the subject. The American Institute of Stress found that 46 percent of work stress comes from the workload people have.

The next-biggest category for work stress cause is trouble with colleagues or customers, which clocks in at 28 percent. Balancing work with life and lack of job security round out the poll at 20 and six percent, respectively. While your particular stressors may fall into one or more of these categories, try to be more specific when listing your troubles.

For example, instead of saying that you do not like your co-workers, dive into the details. Does one particular person make you feel uncomfortable? Do people keep stopping by your workspace to chat? With specifics, you can devise better plans of action.

Find Healthy Ways to Cope

Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid stress at work. Your work may be labor-intensive, require tight deadlines, or leave you with plenty of unread emails. While you may not be able to eliminate this stress, you can learn to deal with it in healthy ways.

A few healthy stress coping mechanisms include:

  • Writing about your feelings
  • Making time for your favorite hobbies
  • Creating healthy exercise routines
  • Getting high-quality sleep

A therapist or psychiatrist can help you learn healthy coping mechanisms that work in your life.

Draw Boundaries You Can Keep

If you often find yourself answering work emails on date night or finishing up some work during dinner, you may have an issue with boundaries at work. Try to create some boundaries that work for you, your colleagues, and your family. Some examples may include:

  • Do not answer work calls or emails during dinner
  • Do not work on weekends
  • Tell those that interrupt you that you need to work

The most crucial factor in keeping your new boundaries is consistency. Be sure to stick to your rules, even when that may be difficult. Over time, people will learn your limits and respect them.

Go to Supervisors When Necessary

In some situations, you need other authorities to step in and remove a stressor on your behalf. For example, if a colleague harasses you in any way, it’s appropriate to contact human resources or a manager. Although this may feel awkward or more stressful at first, it can help eliminate the problem going forward.

Make Time for Relaxation

Working around the clock not only causes exhaustion, but it may also make you less productive. Your work life and mental health depend on you taking the time to do something that you enjoy. For some people, this means taking a yearly vacation. For others, it means recharging nightly with a fun activity. Find what works for you and make time for it.

If you’re struggling with work stress, you don’t have to deal with it alone. The experts at FLBH can help you find healthy, productive ways to manage the pressure you’re under. Call a Florida behavioral health clinic near you today to start on your journey to a more balanced life.