Job Stress – What Can You Do? Part 2 of 2

Last week we looked at the damaging effects that work-related stress can have on your health and life. Today, we will talk about some of the ways you can better manage the stress you feel.

If you are an employer or if you’re in charge of a team or staff working under your supervision, be sure to consider the tips about how you can make the working environment less stressful, too!

Big improvements in stress management take place in small increments and daily habits. Here are some Recommended Daily Habits to get you started:

  • Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself
  • Do something nice for someone
  • Share a laugh or a word of encouragement with someone you like
  • Make a list of things you are most grateful for
  • Take a leisurely bath or hot shower
  • Rest your eyes for 15 to 30 minutes without interruption
  • Relax outdoors, enjoying nature
  • Revisit your accomplishments - even the smallest ones
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Get up 15 minutes early to avoid having to rush
  • Watch a funny movie or television program
  • Spend 30 minutes reading a good book
  • Take a walk around the building

Making the Workplace Less Stressful

If you are an employer, be aware of what your company or organization can do to help your employees minimize stress in the workplace. Here are just a few things to consider:

  • Reconsider all meetings. Unproductive meetings are among the worst time wasters in businesses today. Meetings should only be held when interaction is required, and only those directly involved or affected should be required to attend. Productive meetings serve an essential purpose – to share important information and/or to solve critical problems. But unnecessary meetings just delay the completion of important objectives, which ultimately results in more pressure and stress. A study quoted in The Wall Street Journal reported that if American managers started and ended their meetings on time and followed an agenda they could save 80% of the time they currently waste in meetings!
  • Provide a safe and comfortable environment in which to work
  • Provide a workplace free from all forms of harassment
  • Make sure adequate resources are provided to complete assignments
  • Discourage excessive work hours over an extended period of time
  • Develop management practices based on equality of treatment
  • Provide reasonable workload allocation and feedback on performance
  • Encourage staff to maintain and improve their physical and psychological health
  • Strive to ensure good communication throughout the organization
  • Provide information and training to enable staff to develop their skills and maximize their contribution to the business

Managing stress in the workplace – or anywhere else in life, for that matter – is really a question of balance. If your work is very busy, hectic or noisy, balance it with quiet times and relaxing activities. If your job is mentally demanding or requires long periods of concentration, balance it with play and physical activity. Eat enough but not too much. Enjoy time with family and friends, offset with periods of solitude and reflection. The key is recognizing the value of activities that aren’t related to your work and giving them adequate priority in your daily calendar.

And there’s one more thing to consider: If keeping your life in balance just isn’t enough to relieve your stress, you may be wise to consider meeting with a coach or counselor to help you discover if your work stress is an indication that you should pursue another job or even another career altogether. Listen to your stress – it might be trying to tell you something!

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

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