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How to deal with work stress

As our 90’s heartthrob Ronan Keating once said, “life is a rollercoaster just gotta ride it”. Who knew Ronan was a singer AND a philosopher? All jokes aside, life is full of ups and downs but sometimes you find yourself in a ‘down’ for longer than you’d want, particularly at work.

It’s normal to feel stressed at work – a little bit of stress can motivate you – but when it starts to affect your sleep, eating habits, and overall mood its time to do something about it. Here’s how.

Know what is causing the stress

Finding the source of your stress is your priority. Is it an excessive workload or unclear performance expectations? The answer might be easy but if you’re unsure what is the root cause try making a mindmap. Break down your job role and highlight the areas your struggling with – they are likely the areas causing you stress.

Get support

Inform a colleague or human resources of your situation. If you stress is becoming overwhelming, human resources will be able to offer support in a form that is helpful to you. They may have some helpful advice or at the very least it may help you express your stress in a healthy manner. But, stick to ‘expressing’ rather than gossiping as the latter will cause you more problems.

Avoid unhealthy behaviour

After a long and stressful day it can be tempting to pop open a bottle of Rioja and wallow. While it’s okay to have days like this know that reaching for a vice will likely cause you more stress in the long term. So put down that 5th cup of coffee and instead take some deep breaths. Will the deep breaths feel as good a glass of wine? No, but it is a better tool than alcohol.

Look after your physical health

We’re sure you’ve heard it many times before but working out honestly improves your mood. It’s not going to solve your work stress but it will certainly set you up for a good day. Obviously, if you’re overworked you’re not going to want to pop to the gym so instead, try a YouTube yoga class. They are quick, free, and you can do it in your living room while dinners cooking.

Take short breaks

Take a walk around your office, go outside to get some fresh air, or just pop to the kitchen and make yourself a decent cuppa ☕️ ! The breaks don’t have to interrupt your workflow – make sure they’re just enough time to clear your head and prepare you for the next round of smashing it.