Stress in the workplace increases because deadlines get moved, piles are added to and things sometimes go wrong – very wrong! Sometimes it’s easy to see stress as a bi-product of being employed. But it does not have to be this way…
Start from home
When we are in particularly stressful chapters of our lives, home becomes even more of a sanctuary. But the morning after an evening of binge T.V, takeaways and lounging about…this happens.
You forget to set your alarm, wake up to a face full of cat or, amazingly, wake up relatively refreshed, but then remember an argument the night before. You then can’t find your keys, discover you’re all out of milk and realise on the way to work you have a curry stain on your tie, which you eye with dull pain as the stranger on the bus sat next to you screams at her boyfriend down the phone.
You feel pretty powerless, right?
But with a bit of foresight everything we have just mentioned can be avoided. Except the mouthy stranger – we are afraid!
To start your day well, try to plan your mornings the night before. We understand this is difficult to do and that crashing out in front of the T.V. is much more preferable than thinking about your 6am start; but unfortunately the only way to prevent a disastrous morning is to take half an hour out of your evening. Take this time to decide on tomorrow’s outfit and set out breakfast. Although, when stressed, it is difficult not to hoard every second of free time you have, you have got to commit to making life easier for yourself.
Make things at work more manageable
A lot of stress-management is to do with dissecting the demands thrust upon you and then attempting to make them manageable. The biggest mistake you can make is not asking for help. Asking a colleague to take on a task here and there is much more preferable than having to explain to your boss at the end of the week why your workload has not been completed. But if you find yourself having to explain to your management, don’t be afraid to (tactfully) explain your problems. Everyone is human and it’s incredibly likely you’ll be put on a plan or even have your workload temporarily reduced. Remember that you are a valued member of your team and nobody wants to see you struggle.
You can also try to brainstorm your problems. Don’t worry about all the solutions being serious ones, ‘set fire to your paperwork and go home’ will not only make you chuckle but be the token 1 in your arsenal as you rate these solutions based on their probable success rate.
Don’t put things off
Right now, all you want to do is curl up and hide. DON’T! Your to-do list will only double and your hole deepen. Work out timeframes for tasks and perform them methodically. If you’re not a ‘natural planner’, this will be difficult for you, but there will be a satisfaction in drawing a thick red line over that task you’ve been afraid of for weeks.
Ultimately, stress-management has everything to do with planning. Things may seem out of control now and you may have heard this breed of advice before, but maybe just try it. Grab a biro, some perspective and a piece of paper not littered with deadlines and try to clear your head. Unfortunately, your workload isn’t going to go away, but the sick feeling in your stomach when you look at it? Be confident it’s already renewed its passport.
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