Your job may be killing you. Chronic, persistent stress has been medically proven to cause everything from obesity to Alzheimer’s, diabetes to depression, according to WebMD. While we all experience on-the-job stress, too much of it can negatively affect your performance at work as well as your health at well-being. How can workers turn the tide on stress at work? Here are some ways to cope.
Stress Warning Signs
Irritability and the flip side of anger – depression – can all be signs that you’ve lost control of your stress at work. If you start worrying about work on Sunday evening and your anxiety increases as Monday looms, you are under serious stress. Watch for sleepless nights and trouble concentrating as well as uncomfortable physical symptoms like stomach, neck, or headaches. If you drink more and generally feel apathetic at work, these are clear signs of burnout, which is the result of too much stress.
How To Fight Back Against Stress
Perhaps the easiest and best way to get a handle on what’s stressing you out is to simply talk it out with someone who cares about you. Getting sympathy and support is like water on a hot day; it’s soothing and can make you feel better.
Sometimes it’s good to lean on coworkers, especially those that are in the same stressful situation as you are. Be careful though to not slip into gossip mode, instead, seeking a friend who can listen or provide advice. Make sure you reciprocate and work to be more social with coworkers to build relationships that may make the job more bearable.
What about diet and exercise? For many of us, when stress hits, we turn to eat comfort food, which is usually not good for us. We may skip the gym too because having the energy to attend to your health is the last thing on your mind when you have a bad day. But exercise and eating right actually can lift your mood, so our recommendation is to do it.
In case you hadn’t noticed, most Americans are not only stressed, but they also aren’t getting enough sleep. Sleep heals the body and mind, so the more you get, the better equipped you’ll be to handle the stress at work. Start shutting off your electronic devices earlier and going to bed sooner. The light from cellphones, TVs, smartphones, computers, and other digital devices can severely disrupt your sleep. Instead, try reading for a half-hour before turning out the lights.
Try for eight hours of sleep, which is the amount adults need to function properly the next day – but far too many of us fail to get it. Setting a schedule at night of going to bed an hour earlier and then getting up at the same time every day will help acclimate your body to a regular routine which will help you manage anything that comes up during the daytime.
If you are struggling with stress and nothing seems to help, perhaps it’s time to have a conversation with IES. We can help improve your life! Contact us today