Employee Assistance Program
Frontline Monthly News Letters
Ten Tips for Coping with Stress at Work
Stress is one of the most frequently cited reasons employees contact EAP for help. We all experience stress, and it isn't necessarily a bad thing. When managed effectively, stress can actually energize and motivate us. However, excessive stress can take a toll on us, both physically and emotionally. Twenty-five percent of people say their job is the primary stressor in their lives. (www.mayoclinic.com)
Whether your stress is caused by your daily commute, a conflict with a coworker, a heavy workload, or too many deadlines, there are things you can do that can help relieve your stress.
- Be aware of your stressors – Stress affects people in different ways. Identifying your particular triggers is the first step in developing the skills and resources you need to deal with the stress.
- Recognize your limitations – Trying to be perfect will only add to your stress. You don’t have to be perfect. Maybe you can’t do it all, but you can do your best. Be realistic.
- If you aren’t clear about what is expected of you, ask for clarification. Not knowing what is expected of you makes it hard to be successful and that can be very stressful.
- Avoid negative coworkers – Gossip, constant complaining, criticism, and interpersonal conflict can add to your stress.
- Take a break – Even if it is only for ten minutes, get up, walk around, and get some fresh air. You will come back to the next task refreshed.
- Have healthy interests outside of work – Hobbies, volunteering, or other leisure activities help keep work in perspective, and give you something to look forward to.
- Change what you can, including yourself – Sometimes, you have to reconcile with the way the situation is, but it helps to change your attitude about it. Focusing on the negative aspects can drain your energy and motivation. Positive thinking can help you cope with stress. Practice positive self-talk and see the difference.
- Learn to manage your time – Prioritize and organize to regain a sense of control over yourself and your situation. Procrastination can add to your stress, but sometimes, it is advisable to take time to review your options before taking action.
- Take care of yourself – Eating well, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and staying physically active can help you feel better, and equip you to manage unavoidable stress.
- Talk to someone – Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust can help you feel less stressed, less isolated, and will remind you that you are not alone.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress and would like more information, resources, and support, help is available.