November 1st is National Stress Awareness Day (First Wednesday of November). So, to honor this day, and since this blog deals with work and career related issues, I thought of focusing on how we can handle stress in the workplace.
Stress in the office place falls into three categories as noted by Joseph Thomas:
1. Stress because of your job
2. Stress because of your colleagues
3. Stress because of your boss
The tips below were collected from Facebook friends who generously shared their thoughts on this topic as research for this article. Some of my own two cents on these tips may also be sprinkled throughout the tips. Feel free to browse the Facebook thread, share your own additional tips on the thread or in the comments section below.
Job- Related Stress Relief Tips
1. Learn project management. Break down projects into smaller chunks. Also learn how to set realistic deadlines and timelines based on project milestones.
2. Making to-do lists, prioritizing the tasks to be done.
3. If possible, schedule certain tasks for certain days and times of the week on a regimen.
4. If possible, find new ways to do the same thing or learn the process and streamline it.
Tips on Relieving Stress Caused by Colleagues
1. If possible, work as a team; collaborate and to share the burden of tasks. Delegate or share duties when possible.
2. Team members can be cross-trained so that if someone is out, another co-worker can possibly take care of some tasks or meetings that need to be handled.
3. Laugh, play games, participate in employee engagement activities, maybe do something together outside of work to get to know each other on more of a personal level.
4. Bring a sense of humor to the team to relieve stress or challenges.
5. If there are conflicts or policy breeches, it may be necessary to look into the company policy as to how to handle employee disagreements. In some cases, your manager or Human Resources (HR) may need to intervene or advise.
6. Learn how to work with people who are negative. Some people will not think positively and are Negative Nellys or Doubting Debbies. Learn more about how to handle negative people and situations here.
How to Overcome Stress Caused by Our Boss (or Client)
1. What leverage do you have to negotiate timelines or deadlines? Can you have an open dialogue with stakeholders about what is causing stress?
2. Prepare ahead of time for meetings with the boss or the client. This will help you especially in negotiation or critical talks to be ready for some of the conversation to come.
3. Take a deep breath or a break in between client or customer calls to help the mind switch gears and take a break. This will help you handle situations with irate customers better.
4. Do you have leverage to convince someone of your standpoint? What does he or she want that you have? What can he or she do for you to make your life easier? What information do you have that he or she doesn’t have?
General Tips To Overcome Workplace Stressors
Is There a Cure for Work Related Stress?
There is probably not a one-size fits all cure, nor would stress magically vanish. We all have different thresh-holds for stress. What makes one stressed out may not even phase another person. Maybe we can learn from each other in these cases. In some cases, stress can be a motivator helping us to stay focused or on task. Some agree that stress will always be a part of work (and of life) and rather than try to avoid or deny it, we must find ways to handle and overcome it.
A Stress-Relief Plan?
I have worked with some professionals on a stress-relief plan. We would outline a few situations that cause stress on the job and a few solutions or ideas to reduce the stress. Maybe creating a stress-relief plan may be useful for you as well. If you need assistance with that, that is one of the services provided through Authentic Journeys personalized coaching services.
Do you have any other strategies or advice on dealing with office-place stress? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or in this Facebook thread.
Jennifer Kumar, blog author is a coach and facilitator. If you are looking for a coach to help you overcome challenges in your career, get in touch.
Images of Positive thoughts: Jennifer Kumar (blog author)
Photo credit for woman holding head in hands: energepic.com at pexels
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