A host of research have revealed that stress at work is one of the leading causes of people being off sick. Most experience stress at some point during their working life. There is no such thing as “good” stress, but some people find it more manageable than others. Without smart habits for dealing with situations that could be stressful, work life can be a whole lot more burdensome. Stress affects people differently. Some people seem to thrive on extremely stressful lifestyles, while others struggle to cope with everyday life.
So what can we do about it?
- Be realistic of what you can achieve in a day. This is the most important tip, at least for me. I don’t want to be overworked. I know how much work I can get done in a day and I just stick with it. It’s not helpful if you bite off more than you can chew and then berate yourself for not getting it done.
- Think about the three fundamentals of energy. What are these three fundamentals? Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising a couple of times a week. When you manage these three areas they can create a difference for your mood, energy, outlook of life and how well you can handle stress.
- Watch out for signs of stress. These include: being anxious, irritable or depressed feeling; experiencing apathy, loss of interest in work, difficulty sleeping and having concentration problems.
- Learn to distinguish between “urgent” and “important”. Since we don’t have all the time in the world to every task all at once, we should learn the how to prioritise. Urgent tasks demand immediate action while important tasks can wait at a later time.
- If you think you had enough, ask for help. Consulting a professional, like a therapist or a counsellor, or talking to a colleague, a friend, family member, or a someone from support group, is an effective step in taking control of the stress and managing it properly.
As an employee, it is important that we look after ourselves. Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean that you have to do a massive overhaul on your lifestyle. Take things one step at a time, and as you make more positive lifestyle choices, you’ll soon notice a decrease in your stress levels.
Dennis Relojo earned his MSc Research Methods in Psychology from the University of Hertfordshire. Before he moved to the UK, Dennis was a psychology lecturer in the Philippines. At present, he is a Learning Support Coach at South Essex College. Dennis also writes psychology articles for tutor2u.You can follow him on Twitter @DennisRelojo