How often do you feel stressed at work?
When I started my first company I was amazed by the amount of stress that I felt on a daily basis.
And the numbers speak for themselves -- 55 percent of workers considers their jobs more stressful than financial and relationship problems. Excessive stress interferes with our productivity and impacts our physical and emotional health. With that in mind, we may talk about workplace depression, aka mental changes caused by constant stresses at work.
The problem is, only 5 percent admits they have depression because of work.
Are you overwhelmed, anxious, apathetic or irritable? Do you have problems sleeping and trouble concentrating like I did? These are signals of stress at work, other signs of which include headaches, fatigue, work-life balance loss, and social withdrawal.
Good news is you can cope with the problem, and here are a few tips to help you.
1. Plan ahead and prioritize.
Dasha Amrom, the founder of Career Coaching Ventures, suggests that a common cause of stress might be the feeling you can't control things at work.
So, the decision would be to prioritize tasks and plan ahead: create to-do lists, schedule meetings, break your projects into small steps with tackling high-priority tasks first, and don't be afraid of delegating responsibilities. Also, make sure you take regular short breaks throughout the day: take a walk or chat with friends.
2. Avoid interruptions.
Easier to say than do, but researchers from Germany prove the detrimental effects workflow interruptions have on your satisfaction with how you perform in the office. They bring nothing but irritation and forgetting of intentions.
Avoid interruptions whenever possible and write reminders to yourself about what you did every time interruptions are inevitable.
An easy hack to help you out is to block your calendar based on the tasks based on the tasks that you need to do at that time. Like if you need to write a blog post put it on your calendar to make sure it gets done.
3. Personalize your workplace.
Work environment matters and your workplace is a reflection of your mood and condition. First of all, make it comfortable as it must be a place where you feel well: get rid of the clutter, take care of lighting, add some motivational quotes that inspire you, bring pictures of your family, your favorite cup, a plant, whatever. Warm and fuzzy, you'll forget about stress at such a workplace.
I love getting posters from websites like Startup Vitamin that are very well designed and not overly pricey.
4. Learn calming techniques.
It might be breaking the rules of corporate etiquette in your office, but listening to calm music in earphones do wonders. It soothes nerves and makes you feel better. Also, you can try practicing deep breathing techniques as they have calming effects and bring a feeling of release.
5. Use mood managers.
Mobile gadgets help us track pulse, steps and calories we've burnt; however, we shouldn't limit ourselves to this. According to specialists, 350 million people suffer from stresses and depressions; so, it would be logical to track our psychological condition with smartphones, too.
Certainly, all those mobile applications are hard to call a knowledgeable assistance of a doctor, but they can help to manage your mood.
6. Sleep well and eat right.
Yes, stress can cause insomnia. But a lack of sleep can make you even more stressed. To keep your emotional balance, avoid stressful situations and stimulating activity before bedtime. Improve the quality of your sleep by staying no less than eight hours in bed and turn off all screens: the light from smartphones or tablets makes your body produce melatonin, which disrupts your sleep.
The food you eat impacts your condition and mood, too. Try frequent and healthy meals that keep you energetic and focused during the work day, as well as help you avoid mood swings. Also, maintain the level of sugar in your blood: a low one makes you irritable and anxious.
Do you know that animals wash themselves for more than hygiene? Grooming increases the level of endorphins and, therefore, protects from stress and depression. How can you apply this to your situation? Use a head massager, organize huge days in the office, or buy a massage chair.
The easiest thing to do is washing up and combing your hair more often.
8. Go in for sports.
Physical exercises stimulate endorphins secretion, too; so you are welcome to choose a type of sports that fits you most. Swimming, tennis, jogging, morning exercises and walks will help you beat stress.
Moreover, you can do some exercises in the office to train all muscle groups. Don't forget to alternate brainwork with a physical one.
9. Practice heartfulness.
The meditation has many different variations, and heartfulness is one of them. It's about finding your internal peace and balance with the help of various attitude techniques and meditation exercises.
Practice gratitude, manage negative emotions, and -- yes, it sounds crazy -- embrace your stress with the idea it can be beneficial, too.
10. Change perspectives.
When possible, take a leave and visit your relatives or friends who'll be happy to see you. Take a nature trip, spend some time in the out-of-doors alone or with the dearest ones.
It would be useful to find a new hobby and get with something creative. Write a book, after all! In a word, try something you've never done before: it will help to change perspective, distract from a brooding frame of mind, and enjoy life to the full.
11. Don't keep silent
Ninety-five percent of people doesn't admit they are stressed or depressed because of work. Join the rest 5 percent and don't be ashamed or afraid to ask for help. Lydia Fairman, the HR specialist of Fairman Consulting, believes it's crucial to accept you suffer from work-related stress.
Let your manager and colleagues know about the situation, and you'll find solutions together.
Stress and depression at work are not the problems to ignore. You can solve them without doctors or medicines if listening to your gut and not trying to avoid the symptoms.
There are many methods available to everyone that help to cope with a physical and emotional exhaustion and it would be a sin to ignore them when needed.