You’re probably trying to revive a dying business or struggling to birth a new one to life. Or you’ve been working hard to get that promotion. Whatever your motives, be sure to take steps to reduce workplace stress.
A research study conducted in the United States of America revealed that 4.5 million Americans in full-time employment suffer from anxiety disorders. When I worked an 8 – 5 job, I nearly had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized for days. It didn’t take long to realize that this was a common problem in the corporate world.
Before delving into the major steps one can take to reduce work related stress, I’d like to list some of the dangerous effects stress can have on your life. Here are few:
-Stress makes you age prematurely
-Stress Increases your risk of heart disease
-Stress can increase the number of your emotional outbursts
-Stress can ruin your love relationship
-Stress puts you at risk of being obese
-Stress can lead to disability
-Stress reduces your immune system
Stress, if not properly managed, can cause unprecedented damage to a life. It almost happened to me. So how did I reduce stress and other anxiety disorders in my office environment?
1. Living Healthier
After my five-day stay at the hospital, I began making healthier choices. I incorporated indoor exercises into my daily routine. I also made sure I ate at least five different kinds of fruits and vegetables daily. This helped me keep up my energy levels. Even though my department was operating a new business model, I was learned to use the advanced employee management software as quickly as possible without suffering any stress-related illnesses.
2. Utilizing My Breaks
I never truly valued breaks until stress began to take a toll on me. Corporate health and wellness experts have extolled rests for their wonderful benefits. Breaks give you time to recharge your mental and physical batteries.
Fifteen minutes of resting in a serene lounge were often enough to boost my creativity and productivity in my workplace. I was happier to contribute to the growth of the business.
3. Arrange Your Tasks in Order of Importance
When there is so much to do, there is often the temptation to multi-task. That’s the perfect way to get stressed up very quickly. Once you learn to draw up a to-do list, you’ll find that it’s easier to work when you prioritize your tasks.
I decided what was important, that is, what couldn’t wait. I automated my tasks as much as I could. I also delegated to colleagues and team members when I could. This helped me stay calm and relaxed while I worked.
Another strategy was to discuss with my supervisor so that we could decide what tasks I should focus on. I often focused on tasks that were within my area of strength. That way, I could complete my tasks on time and without pressure.
4. Don’t Try To Be Super-human: Seek Assistance
When the workplace is competitive, there is often that pressure to prove yourself. The best strategy is to try to be the best team mate to your colleagues. Offer to help them, when you can. Rather than feel threatened by you, they will be willing to help you when you need assistance.
In my office environment, I tried to create that air of camaraderie. Rather than treat my colleagues as opponents, I made them allies I could call on for help. This helped me reduce the workplace stress that had almost ruined my life.
Study everyone’s area of strengths and determine where your areas of weakness lie. That way, you’ll seek help at the appropriate time and from the right team members. I often engaged my boss when I was under chronic stress. At such times, we discussed what the priority tasks were. While I focused on those, another team member would handle another aspect. If your boss doesn’t care about corporate health and wellness, then perhaps, you should consider getting a better job.
5. Get Enough Sleep
When you’re dealing with a stressful situation, it becomes more difficult to sleep. Ironically, lack of sleep deteriorates your health and reduces your ability to manage stress. If you’ve been battling poor moods, lack of focus and anxiety, perhaps you aren’t getting enough sleep.
I resumed taking green tea after my stay at the hospital. I discovered that it was effective in helping me stay calm. Lemongrass is particularly very soothing to the nerves. I slept better when I began eating healthier foods and drinking a lot of green tea.
So how do you reduce work related stress?
Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam writes creative non-fiction and prose fiction. Her works have appeared in Romance Meets Life, Flash Fiction Press, MTLS, Saraba Magazine, Sentinel Magazine and others. Her debut novel, Finding Love Again, was published by Ankara Press. She owns and manages creativewritingnews.net