May 5, 2009
How To Deal With Stress In The Workplace
Hello! Thank you for visiting the Self Help Tips Blog. I hope that those of you who are return visitors continue to find hope and inspiration from my self help blog. As we push through these difficult economic times, I would like to take a moment to discuss several ways to deal with stress in the workplace.
Imagine that it’s Monday morning. You’ve just spent half an hour in a traffic jam, you were late for work and you’ve just clocked in. Right as you are about to dive into today’s tasks, your supervisor pulls you aside and tells you that the entire procedure has changed. Without warning, you’re taking on the work of another department to pick up their slack. Tasks that you have always been told were not your responsibility, suddenly are. Without training, you now need to do twice the amount of work. And about your birthday, the day that you’ve been scheduled to have off for the past month… yeah, you’re going to have to come in.
It may sound like a scene out of the movie “Office Space”, but many of us deal with this on a daily basis. You are not alone! So, what should a person do when faced with such an unexpected, stressful and downright awful situation?
The first thing that you need to realize is that although it may not seem to be the case, you DO have control over the situation. You are a human being, not a slave that can be forced into doing something with no warning, no choice and (most importantly) no input. Take comfort and pride in the fact that you are a skilled, productive and valuable employee. Question your employer. Ask them why you were not warned about these changes. Ask them why they don’t hire more employees to ease the work load. If they don’t have any answers, ask for a raise. Voice your concerns.
To many people, these suggestions might sound absolutely ludicrous. You might be thinking “If I did that, I would be fired.” If you are, then ask yourself this: Do you really want to work for an employer who does not treat you like a valued human being?
For those of you who have no other choice than to obey the commands of your corporate overlords, here are a few things that you can try to relieve the stress:
Spend your breaks practicing meditation or yoga. Use these invaluable tools to clear your mind, re-focus your energy and release your stress. Even just 15 minutes of meditation can leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the tasks at hand.
Slack! Yes, that’s right… sluff off. If your employer is going to treat you like a robot, then act like one! There is absolutely no point in exceeding the demands of your employer if they’re not even willing to meet yours. Give yourself a break between breaks. Stare at the wall for a few minutes. Hum your favorite tune. Daydream for a while. As long as you look busy, no one will know the difference. A few five minute slack breaks during the day can make a world of difference for both your mood and your stress level.
Listen to music. For me, nothing makes the workday go by quicker than some jazz, classical music or even talk radio. Sound is one of the most soothing and relaxing things on earth. Take advantage of it whenever you can.
These are just a few techniques that you can use to deal with stress in the workplace. The most important thing to remember is that you are a skilled, productive person who deserves respect and integrity not only at work, but everywhere. Don’t let work get you down… it’ll be over in eight hours.