Even in pre-coronavirus times, stress was an indicator of a busy lifestyle. And it will remain so even after the pandemic is more or less under control and people go back to work with certain restrictions.
Stress can be caused by numerous factors and also manifest itself in multiple forms. Let us dwell on stress originating from our workplaces.
Workplace stress is not always a bad thing. It can help you maintain focus, keep you on your toes in critical situations and even help avoid making mistakes.
But when stress begins to drain you, leave you worried, or impact your overall performance negatively, then it’s time to take action. Stress and pressure at workplace is a major reason for issues like anxiety, depression etc. No matter how stressful the job gets, there are certain things you can do to keep stress levels under check.
Most common underlying causes of stress
Depending on the person’s tendency to cope with pressure, the breaking point can be caused by any of the following reasons:
— Pressure to meet ever-increasing expectations but no increase in job satisfaction
— The deep-rooted fear of being laid off from the job
— More overtime/longer shifts due to staff cutback or lack in manpower
— Controlling environment/inability to do your work freely
— Pressure to work perfectly and efficiently like a machine, at all times!
Warning signs that you have excessive stress
If you are under stress, your body will show signs to cope with the pressure. Some of those signs are:
— Loss of interest in work
— Trouble in sleeping
— Social withdrawal
— Inability to concentrate
— Resorting to alcohol or drugs
Steps to deal with stress
If you have a strong support system of colleagues in office, it can help negate some harmful effects. You should be expressive and try to vent out some of the inside feelings to friends and family. Some of them must have faced similar situations in their own lives and might be able to help you using their experience
— Try walking in the park for 30 minutes or jogging in fresh air. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a vigorous workout, but these little things can distract your mind from the tension and make you feel energetic and more focused
— Caffeine tends to boost your anxiety and nicotine, although providing calming effects when inhaled, causes tolerance and an increase in anxiety levels. So smoking and too much coffee should be avoided
— Sleep must never be compromised with. Less sleep affects your daytime productivity, creativity and problem-solving skills and makes you feel drained all day. Listen to soft music before sleep or do other soothing activities and aim for at least 8 hours of sleep.
— Avoid scheduling back-to-back activities or trying to fit in too much into one day. You must learn to prioritize your work. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the ‘shoulds’ and the ‘musts.’ Push tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them, if possible.