Don’t Let Workplace Stress Get the Best of You
Whether you’re a busy business owner or a tireless professional, stress is likely part of your life. From countless meetings, staff hirings, marketing, and client relations, you have a lot to do in a given day. While you may not see stress relief as a necessity, there is evidence to suggest that taking part in stress-relieving activities can actually help you hit the ground running to achieve new career goals. Keep reading to learn some tips and tricks for stress reduction that will help set you on the path of professional success.
Work Stress and Burnout
It is estimated that 7,200 Australians are compensated for work-related stress each year, and 91 percent of the claims are related to mental stress. While stress may have relatively benign short-term consequences such as fatigue, irritability, and sleep disruption, there are a variety of long-term consequences including weight gain, increased risk of heart disease, and stomach ulcers, as well as the potential for substance abuse. In addition, sustained periods of stress can often lead to what has been labeled burnout. While it can manifest in a variety of ways, burnout is generally associated with emotional exhaustion, pessimism, and a lack of interest in one’s professional or personal life. Burnout can make daily tasks difficult and can co-occur with procrastination and disinterest. If this sounds like you, take a hard look at how to improve your overall mental health.
Identify Stressors, Improve Mental Health
If you want to avoid burnout or other illnesses associated with sustained stress, try making a few changes to your daily routine. Start by looking at what causes you significant stress. For many stressed professionals and business owners, low salaries, unclear expectations, and heavy workloads are significant contributors to work-related stress. Next, consider ways you may be able to address these stressors. For example, if the commute to work is one of your greatest stressors, consider carpooling or public transit. Alternatively, you could speak to your supervisor and inquire about spending a portion of your time working from home. Next, learn to balance responsibilities by participating in some stress-relief activities such as yoga, deep breathing, and exercise. You might be surprised by the positive effects these activities have on your mental well-being, including your mood, energy levels, and concentration.
Ask for Help
From now and then, everyone needs help. Whether you simply need extra help on a project, clearer guidance, or professional advice, asking for help can be highly beneficial. Begin by referring to your list of stressors and asking yourself, “What could be done to reduce this stress?” Likely, you already know the answer and simply need to take the steps to make it happen. If you feel help is impossible, this may be an indicator of professional burnout. If this sounds like you, consider seeking additional support from friends, family, a professional counselor, or even your boss. While doing so, try to uncover the underlying cause of your stress and work to develop methods to address it.
Being a professional comes with myriad stressors, and by not tackling your stressors head on, you are likely doing yourself a disservice. Sustained stress can make you more prone to physical and mental concerns and can reduce productivity. If you want to reach your career aspirations, start by confronting your stressors. Your mind, body, and career will thank you!
Guest article by Julie Morris