How to manage stress and anxiety at work
There will always be busy periods at work where tensions can run a little high. But if you find yourself in a constant state of fatigue, stress or anxiety as a result of your job, it’s a sign that something needs to change.
Workplace stress can affect not only your performance at work, but your home life and overall wellbeing. If you spend your Sundays dreading the stress of Monday morning, it’s time to do something about it!
Below, we’ve put together a guide to managing stress and anxiety at work, with a view to help you fall in love with your job again.
Always be prepared
Preparation is half the battle. Taking just a few minutes to prepare the night before can save you time and stress in the morning. Before you leave the office each night, consider writing yourself a to-do list for the next day. That way you’ll feel prepared from the minute you arrive.
It can also be helpful to prepare your lunch, pack your bag and choose your outfit the night before. This will help you to have a more relaxing morning and start the day off on a positive note. You’ll feel calmer when you get to work and ready to start the day!
By keeping a well-organised diary, task list or calendar, you can ensure that you stay productive and on top of your workload – it’s about finding what works for you. If it feels like your work is getting on top of you, this can cause feelings of stress, anxiety and eventually fatigue. Especially if you’re putting in overtime to try and keep your head above water.
In busier times, it might be that you need to delegate work to your team. And that’s OK! That’s part of staying organised and making sure you’re using the resources available to you. If work gets too much, it might be time to speak to your manager to see if they can help.
Take regular breaks
It’s unreasonable to expect to be chained to your desk for eight hours. Make sure you take regular breaks, even if it’s just to make a tea or coffee. And also be sure to always take a lunch break.
Many fall into the trap of eating at their desk, but it’s important to get out and get some fresh air. This is such a simple way to reduce stress and clear your head.
Perfect your work-life balance
Unfortunately, many professionals are guilty of putting in too much overtime and even continuing to work from home. A good work-life balance is vital if you want to combat stress and anxiety. And if you’re staying organised and on top of your work, you should have no problem switching off at the end of the day.
It’s important to leave work behind and re-charge. The best way to do this is by avoiding work emails and calls after hours and making the most of your weekends and annual leave. Take this time to relax and enjoy your private life. Perhaps you have a hobby or passion project you’re working on. It can feel tricky at first, but getting the balance between work and your home life is key.
Look after yourself
You need to take care of both your physical and mental wellbeing. Exercise is a great form of stress relief, whether that’s going to the gym before work or going for a walk on your lunch break. It’s important to get those endorphins flowing.
It can also be tempting to snack at work, especially if you’re sat at a desk for eight hours. But try to avoid sugary snacks and drinks and go for healthy options instead. If you feel yourself hitting the afternoon slump, consider some fruit or nuts. Though we’re all guilty of comfort eating, healthy choices will help you to feel better in the long run.
Do what you love
Most importantly, you need to do what you love. We spend a great deal of our time at work, so you need to enjoy your job, not feel stressed or overwhelmed because of it. If you’ve become apathetic to your role, consider putting yourself forward for new projects or coming up with some new and exciting ideas.
And if you’ve passed the point of no return, it could be time to look for a new job! One that makes you jump out of bed on Monday morning and look forward to the day.
Workplace stress can have a number of negative effects on your life, so it’s important to tackle the issue head on. Preparation and organisation can help you to feel calmer, but you also need to look after your physical wellbeing too.
Make sure you have time to unwind – work-life balance is key. This can really help to relieve stress and keep you passionate about your role. And if you think it’s time to find a new path, consider searching for a role you’ll truly love.