Stressed at work?
You’re not the only one.
According to the HSE, an estimated 822,000 people experienced work related stress between 2020 & 2021. In fact, 65% of adults say work is a source of significant source of stress in their lives.
While a little stress isn’t always a bad thing, prolonged stress can take a toll on your mental health.
As our society becomes increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining good mental health; those just beginning their careers, such as Millennials and Gen Z, seek a healthy work-life balance and this is motivating many companies to begin prioritising their employees’ experience in order to appeal to a new generation of workers.
However in company's where stress levels have always been been higher than average, changes in company structure and cultural shifts can take time to implement.
So if you’re stressed at work, these tips can help you start to manage your stress at work more effectively.
Whether you work from home or bring your work home with you, mixing work and home can make it difficult for you to unwind at the end of the day. For Millennials and Gen Z, the tendency to be “plugged in” makes it even harder to separate professional life from personal life. Establishing clear boundaries online and offline can help you mentally separate the two so you can fully relax when you’re off the clock, and take a much-needed respite from work-related stress. If you work from home, establishing clear working hours can help maintain your boundaries. If not, avoid bringing work home with you by staying late, turning off your work email notifications or going into the office early to prevent any stress spillover.
When you’re tired, you’re more susceptible to the negative effects of stress like a lowered immune system and impaired decision making. Prioritise your sleep during the work week to help your mind and body stay rested so you can process stress in a healthier manner and stay focused and efficient when it matters most.
Develop a Relaxing Routine
It can be hard to relax after a busy day of work and “switch off”. Creating an after-work routine designed to take you out of your work mindset and melt away the stress of the day can help you relax after you clock out. Podcasts, music, or a good book are a great way to start unwinding on your commute home. Some people find taking a shower, exercising or partaking in a hobby such as video games to be an essential part of their relaxing routine. Similar to how you develop a bedtime routine, a relaxing routine helps to train your mind and body to let go of the day’s stress when you’re away from work and maximise your downtime.
When you’re stressed it can be easy to become overwhelmed by everything you have to get done. Staying organised can help you manage your stress and break down your responsibilities into more manageable to-do-lists and goals. If you have a lot of tasks you need to get done, be sure to prioritise them in order of importance and work through them one-by-one. Staying organised will help eliminate the stress of chaos and keep you on track to meet your deadlines.
Share the Stress
It might seem counterintuitive to share your stress with others, but opening up about work-related stress to friends or family can help relieve the feelings of isolation that stress can create and help you feel more connected with others. Hearing about similar work-related issues from those close to you can also help you discover new and different ways to manage your stress. Realising you’re not alone in experiencing stress at work can be reassuring, particularly if you feel like you’re the only one struggling.
Exercise has long been considered one of the best forms of relieving stress. A natural stress-reliever due to endorphins and other mood-boosting hormones it helps release, exercise is a popular way of destressing because it distracts your mind from work and forces you to live in the moment. Exercise also gets you awake and active. It can help reinvigorate your senses after a long day parked in front of your computer. Exercise is one of the healthiest ways of relieving stress and has also been found to combat its negative effects by improving sleep quality and brain performance.
No matter who you are, everyone experiences work-related stress once in a while. However, when employees experience prolonged bouts of stress, it can often be an indication of a company culture in need of improvement.
Workplaces with employees who are less stressed are able to recruit and retain top talent more successfully and harbor a happier and more productive workforce.
As more Millennials and Gen Z enter the workforce, expectations surrounding work culture are changing. Consequently, companies seeking to maximise their employees’ potential will find themselves having to adapt to managing and motivating a new generation of workers.