Stress at work is commonplace. According to Lyra Health, 30% of employees report that they are so stressed it interferes with their work. Similarly, findings by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health reveal that 29 to 40% of Americans report being “extremely stressed at work.” OSHA declared stress a hazard of the workplace that costs American industry more than $300 billion annually. These statistics highlight the need to learn how to overcome workplace stress.
Set the stage for a great day
Learning to overcome workplace stress starts with setting yourself up for success from the time you wake each day. While you may not be able to control what your workday brings, you can establish a morning routine that boosts your mood and puts you in the right frame of mind. Wake with enough time to eat a nutritious breakfast, shower slowly, interact with your family, and meditate. Listen to calm music or drive to work in silence. A positive attitude and a clear mind is more likely to follow if you’re not rushed during your pre-work hours and will help you overcome workplace stress more effectively.
Get up and move
Staring at a screen all day feeds physical and emotional stress. To overcome workplace stress, take regular breaks to get up and move. Use these moments as a reminder to drink plenty of water to refresh you. Whether you’re in a company office or at home, schedule time into your day to step outside, take a walk, and breathe in the fresh air. Prioritizing these breaks times, especially when you’re able to take a brisk walk, helps you improve your physical and emotional wellbeing, which is a one-two punch to overcome workplace stress.
Avoid the drama
While conflict is sometimes necessary, when the issue doesn’t involve you or your team, avoid the workplace drama. If a co-worker attempts to draw you in to take sides on an issue, gossip, or complain, politely excuse yourself from the conversation. When you’re working to overcome workplace stress, reducing opportunities for escalated emotions and negativity will help you feel more grounded. Avoid relationships at work that cause stress and invest in finding a best friend at work who will help improve your social wellbeing.
You don’t have to be a neat-freak to overcome workplace stress, but your work environment and systems matter. When you’re surrounded by chaos, whether it’s a cluttered desk, an overflowing inbox, or a long to-do list, you are likely to feel the impact through escalated stress. Create systems that help you prioritize your to-do’s, keep your key documents accessible, and organize your incoming email. Feeling more productive through good organization will help overcome workplace stress.
You may not be able to change your workplace culture on your own or overcome workplace stress completely, but you can become more resilient to the stressors that threaten your wellbeing by practicing some of the tips we’ve shared above. Let us know what works once you’ve given it a try!