What can you do to take control?
The American workplace is short staffed and overwhelmed. Employees are doing more with less. Workplace stress is out of control. Many staffers burnout and develop severe anxiety and depression. If you’re feeling the effects, what can you do to take control and feel better?
1 Fix what bothers you
Maybe it’s a coworker you got off on the wrong foot with. Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed by a huge project with an unrealistic deadline. Or maybe you just have too much on your plate. Whatever it is, address it. If you let things fester and build up without addressing them, they only add to your stress and make things worse. When you address what is bothering you, you can correct it, move on and be free to move forward with your work.
2 A 5-minute timeout
This was one of my favorite things to do when I worked in Corporate America. When you are sitting at work and you start to feel the stress building, take a 5-minute timeout. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths inhaling through the diaphragm (stomach area), hold it for a few seconds, then slowly breathe out through the lips. While doing that, think of something that makes you feel good. This resets your mind, body and slows down your breathing which instantly relieves stress.
3 Be realistic in every sense
Some employees like to burn the midnight oil. Others are worried about losing their job that they are perfectionists with their work, and it drives them crazy. Then some put up a front to fit in or become ‘yes men’ to get in good with the boss. All these behaviors will work against you in the long run and add to stress. Your best bet in the workplace is to be realistic about everything, work hard, do the best you can, but never cross the line and be someone you aren’t. Staying true to yourself personally and professionally is the most important thing you can do.
4 Disconnect afterhours
This is a must, but with modern technology, it is so difficult to do. Nonetheless, do whatever you can to free your mind from the workplace when you go home at night. Hit the gym. Spend quality time with your family. Engage in a favorite pastime. Also, do your best to leave what happened in the office at the office, and don’t bring the emotions home with you.
5 Spend time on you
Everyone, no matter who you are, must take a little time each day for self-care. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, that’s better than nothing. Get in a quiet spot and just get away from the hustle and bustle of the world around you. Listen to your favorite music. Exercise. Read a book. Sit on a bench in the park. It doesn’t matter what you do, but you must spend a few minutes unwinding and recharging your mind and body.