Do you find yourself working so hard that it is beginning to take a toll on not just your productivity at work, but also your relationships and even your health? Then, you’d find this article where we’d discuss how to manage stress at work quite useful. While you may be very passionate about your job and love spending time at work, you may find yourself battling some stressful situations.
Sadly, every business owner, regardless of how passionate they are about what they do would experience some stressful elements while working.
Running a business can be very stressful.
You’d have to deal with meeting deadlines, completing a challenging project, and handling overbearing customers and even staff.
The experience can be quite overwhelming once the stress at work becomes too much.
Most times, this experience can ultimately affect both your physical and mental health.
We bet you know that maintaining your health is important to ensuring your business runs smoothly.
This is why you need to stick with us to the end of this article to learn how to handle work-related stress better.
We’d start by explaining what stress is and then we’d go into the crux of the article.
What is Stress? – How to Manage Stress at Work
Stress generally refers to a situation where a person feels tension or strain either emotionally, physically, or psychologically.
Stress can either be internal or external.
Internal stress is often a result of medical procedures or illnesses.
External stress on the other hand is caused by external factors such as psychological or environmental conditions.
So, work stress typically is external stress.
One thing to know about stress is that it happens to everyone; although the level at which every individual feels it often varies.
However, how people react to being stressed usually makes a huge difference in how stress affects their general well-being.
Therefore, every leader and business owner need to know how to manage stress at work to ensure they carry out their duties properly.
Why It Is Important to Manage Stress at Work – How to Manage Stress at Work
You may feel like you do not have to handle your work-related stress because it seems like you are handling everything just fine.
We hate to be the one to bring the sad news that you are wrong to think this way; this is because there’s no way you are handling everything as you should while being stressed.
When you are stressed but trying to ignore it, so many things can go wrong .
If you fail to manage stress at work, the following are bound to happen:
Your Emotional and Physical Health Will Be Affected
When you are stressed, you may become more emotional which can lead to anger outbursts and crankiness.
It can also affect your physical health as stress is proven to have a detrimental impact on one’s physical health.
You May Have Difficulty Thinking Clearly – How to Manage Stress at Work
When you are worked up, your thinking ability can be significantly affected.
You may find yourself spending hours trying to figure out something that should otherwise not take you that long to figure out.
Work-related stress can greatly reduce your ability to function the way you should.
Your Employees Will Be Affected Too – How to Manage Stress at Work
When you are emotional and prone to crankiness due to being stressed at work, it won’t just affect you.
It will also affect those working with/for you; they most likely would feel like they are walking on eggshells around you.
This can make the work environment stressful for your employees; they may start thinking you are a bad employer.
A stressful work environment can make it difficult for your employees too, thereby affecting their performance as well.
The best way to avoid all of the above is to ensure you properly manage your stress at work.
Yes, you are bound to experience stress while working, but proactive stress management will ensure you handle stressful situations properly.
Effectively managing your work-related stress won’t just ensure you are more productive at work, but it will also make you live healthier and happier.
Tips on How to Manage Stress at Work
Here are some sure tips that will help you in your work-related stress management endeavour.
1. Know the Effects of Stress
One somewhat obvious how to manage stress at work tip is knowing and understanding the ill-effect work-related stress can have on you.
This is why we took out time to discuss what can happen if you do not have a proper stress management plan.
Remind yourself of the various problems that you may experience both with your physical and psychological health and your business if your stress level keeps increasing.
This way, you will caution yourself to avoid these problems whenever you start getting yourself worked up over work.
Remember, being stressed at work as a business owner won’t just affect you but will affect your employees as well and cause their productivity to dwindle.
Some signs would serve as an indicator for you whenever your stress levels are getting high.
These signs include but aren’t limited to:
- Frequently falling ill
- Increased heart rate
- Reduced self-esteem
Watch out for these signs as you go about your daily life; this way, you’d quickly notice when you are getting stressed.
2. Know What Triggers Your Stress – How to Manage Stress at Work
Another thing that can help reduce your work-related stress is figuring out situations that often trigger your stress.
Factors and situations that trigger stress are known as stressors.
Stressors in a work environment can range from subtle conditions like a long commute to work, or more overwhelming situations like a difficult project.
It does not matter whether your stressor(s) is subtle or obvious, one way to overcome it/them is to figure out what it/they are.
To do this, we recommend writing down things that makes you stressed out; you can do this for a week or maybe two.
Also, document how you reacted to these stressors.
Ensure the journal you keep takes note of not just situations that triggered your stress, but also of events, places, and even people that acted as stressors.
When you write, evaluate your feelings as best as you can.
It would help to ask some of the following questions when writing about any stressor:
- How did I feel in this situation? Were you hurt, angry, or even afraid?
- How did I react to the situation? Did you take a walk or cool off with a can of soda?
- How can I resolve this situation? Consider options that can help you solve the situation in case it comes up some other time.
3. Be Organized
Not being organized and time cautious is usually one of the reasons people feel overwhelmed while at work.
If your table and schedule are a busy mess and you can’t seem to find anything you need, you may find yourself getting extremely stressed out at otherwise simple tasks.
To avoid this, ensure you prepare a list of your priorities every week; know the tasks that you need to handle, and then rank them based on their importance.
Procrastination is another factor that you need to curb if you are to have fewer stressors at work.
This is because, when you procrastinate, you end up not doing things when you should.
In the end, you may find yourself battling with a task when a deadline is very near; this is often a sure recipe for getting worked out while at work.
Therefore, you need to rid yourself of the habit of procrastination.
4. Do Not Dwell on Negative Thoughts – How to Manage Stress at Work
Sometimes, negative thoughts may come to make you feel a certain way about a project, employee, or even task.
But, while you can’t always filter what crosses your mind, you can also decide on what to do with a thought.
And our advice is, once a negative thought crosses your mind, try as much as you can to not dwell on it.
Dwelling on negative thoughts can make you overthink and start second-guessing anything.
For instance, you may be working on a presentation and everything is going so well, then you may start thinking that the presentation isn’t good enough to impress your potential client.
When this happens, you may put yourself under pressure, trying to make the presentation better; you may spend hours trying to come up with better ideas.
More often than not, you’d only delay the process; in the worst-case scenario, you may convince yourself to start afresh, even with a deadline looming by the corner.
Working like this can lead to frustration which in turn can lead to being stressed.
Are we saying you shouldn’t do better when you can?
No, we are simply saying do not let negative thoughts linger more than they should, as this can activate your stressors and make you feel overwhelmed.
5. Rest – How to Manage Stress at Work
It may sound like a no-brainer, but most business owners often do not know when to take a break while at work.
Taking as little as some minutes off work duties can be all you need to prevent burnout while at work.
Make sure you do something you enjoy and makes you relax in the brief time you take to rest from work activities.
It may be as simple as watching some funny videos, listening to your favorite podcast, or even taking a stroll around your office building.
As long as the activity helps you take the much-needed break you need to relax from the tasking duty of running a business, then it’s a great idea.
We know it may seem like asking for too much when we say you shouldn’t think of work while you take your break, but not thinking of work while relaxing is important to ensure you relax properly.
6. Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance
As a leader or business owner, you may likely spend a lot of time at work or handling work-related duties, this is especially true of startup business owners.
While you have to channel as much energy as you can to your business to ensure it grows the way it should, you also have to maintain a healthy balance between work and your home life.
Ensuring a clear-as-day boundary is set between your home life and work will help prevent one from spewing into the other.
This means making sure you have enough time to socialize with family and friends without getting distracted by work during these periods.
When you don’t let work interfere with your home life, you’d find yourself enjoying your time away from work even better.
So, while you are out playing golf with a friend, try to keep the business talk at bay; this is unless the game was specifically meant to be a business meeting.
Likewise, try not to take work-related phone calls or check your work emails when you are spending time with your family and friends.
Make attainable rules that will help you make sure your work and home life are properly balanced and you’d likely feel less stressed out by work.
7. Make Self-Care A Habit
You need to understand the need for self-care and regularly take out time for it.
Once you start feeling overwhelmed by work, then you most likely aren’t caring for yourself the way you need to.
Self-care includes making your sleep a priority, engaging in activities you consider fun, and even making sure you don’t skip meals just because you are working.
You will be well-rested and less likely to feel exhausted when you work if you make self-care a habit.
You may think you have a lot of work and can’t afford to take out time to care for yourself.
However, when you get burnout, you may achieve less even when you spend a lot of hours focusing on work.
But once you’ve cared for yourself the way you should, you’d find yourself tackling the tasks and issues at work more efficiently.
8. Try Out Some Relaxation Techniques – How to Manage Stress at Work
You can help yourself stay relaxed by trying out some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation.
You can reduce your anxiety with relaxation techniques; this would in turn help you be less stressed as you go through your day at work.
You can start by using just some minutes before work to engage in a simple and relaxing activity, like taking a stroll in the park.
Make sure your everyday routine has elements of mindfulness; you can achieve this by doing the following:
- Work a few minutes break into your schedule; use this brief period to do some breathing exercises.
- Look for a great meditation app that can help you feel less stressed whenever you are experiencing more work pressure.
- Listen to some calming music as you commute to work.
9. Have A Reliable Support System
A reliable support system that you can fall back on when you need to cope with some stressful work-related situations is a must-have.
As a business owner, there will be times work would be more demanding than it normally is.
When you have a lot on your hand at work, your support system like your friends, parents, spouse, or siblings can help you out with some home-related tasks.
Having reliable people around can significantly alleviate your burdens when you are experiencing a stressful situation.
10. Avoid Perfectionism
Expecting or trying to achieve perfection for every task will leave you feeling drained and worn out.
This is because you would spend more hours trying to make an already great job perfect.
Striving for perfection has its benefits and can make your business stand out from others, but it comes at a cost.
It can be very stressful and more often than not result in burnout.
Check here to find out more on why perfectionism is bad for your career.
Having high standards is great, but you need to avoid overtly high standards that will leave you worn out.
One way to do avoid overtly high standards is to not personalize failures and mistakes.
11. Take A Vacation
Disconnecting yourself from work-related activities and responsibilities is a sure way to unwind and relieve yourself of stress.
So, whenever the burden of work gets too much, take that vacation you’ve been thinking of.
You sometimes don’t even need to wait till you get too burdened by work.
Traveling to some exotic country is not a must; you can simply stay at home work-free for a couple of days or weeks.
If you can’t take too much time off work, then you can simply go on a road trip for a day, or drive around town, all the while not thinking about work.
Conclusion on How to Manage Stress at Work
A lot of business owners and leaders tend to experience stress at work.
This is often because of how tasking it is to run a business and/or lead people.
Apart from stress affecting your health, it can cause you to feel cranky and this would by extension affect those working for/with you.
Stress does not affect just your productivity but also that of your employees.
To avoid this, you have to know how to manage stress at work.
There are so many ways you can adequately keep your stress level to the bare minimum when you are at work.
For starters, you need to know the effects of stress on a person and a business environment; knowing this will help you manage yourself in times you feel overwhelmed by work.
Next, you need to recognize stressors (stress triggers).
Also, find out the best ways to react to your stressors whenever pop up again.
Our advice is that you start taking advantage of all the amazing tips we have discussed in this article today!