All about the mind

How to deal with stress at work

This post is brought to you by Turner Freeman.

work stress

If you have been reading my blog, you’ll probably remember that sometime last month, I wrote about stress in my workplace which had me worried that I was losing interest in my job. Anyway, writing that post really helped me sort things out in my head and I decided that all that negative energy around me was something I couldn’t control. But there were things I could personally do to manage my own stress and therefore keep up my enthusiasm. These are some things that helped me deal with stress at work:

Focus on work: Given that in my case, the cause for stress wasn’t the actual work itself but rather all the negative energy from others around me, it made sense to re-focus myself and immerse myself into work. In the last two weeks since making the decision, I have focussed wholeheartedly on clients, paperwork and case management, leaving no time to listen to gossip or other people’s negativity about the work place. Of course, if work is your cause for stress, this won’t apply to you!

Stick to your work time: Until about a year ago, I got into the bad habit of staying back at work till 6 or 7. I have colleagues who continue to do that on a regular basis and then wonder why they are burning out. I made a conscious decision last year to not stay back late and I continue to stay true to that. There might be a couple of days in a month that I stay back but apart from that, I make sure I’m out of the building by 5:30 p.m. at the latest.

Change it up: I am fortunate that my work can sometimes involve school visits or seeing clients at a different site. When things were getting to me at my work place, I decided that I needed some time out from it. We have another site in a neighbouring suburb and there are clients I see who live closer to the other area and were therefore, more than happy to see me there. For me, it gives me time out by driving there as well as seeing other colleagues and well, being in a completely different environment to do the same work. Apart from that, I made sure I sat outside for lunch on a lovely day or just tried different things at work.

Leave work at work: This philosophy has been working well for me in the past two years. I refuse to bring work home. I don’t mind if I’m lagging behind on reports, I will not bring work home. My work can be stressful in itself sometimes and as much as I love my clients and care for them, once I’m out of that place and hit home, I don’t want them on my mind. Lately this has had to transfer into leaving colleagues at work too so that I am not stewing over their negativity. If you are someone who can access work emails from home, turn everything off on getting home! Honest. You will need it for your sanity.

Rethink and Reframe: Sometimes it helps to try and figure out the cause of your stress and then evaluate whether it really warrants all that much worry. For me, while I eventually nutted it down to negativity in the workplace, I realised that I too had been stressing about the source of the stress for others. The reality was that that very cause had nothing to do with me. I honestly had no reason to worry. I reframed the situation in my mind {with the help of my supervisor} and noticed that my attitude towards the ‘problem’ changed while others continued to worry about it. If you can change how you think about the situation, it can help. And no, it’s not about positive thinking!

Mindfulness and exercise: One of the best things to deal with stress is mindfulness as well as exercise. Even if you can find 10 minutes during your work day to practice mindfulness, it will do you a whole lot of good. As for exercise, while I exercise prior to work, there are days if I have been way too stressed that I will make my way for another session at the gym after work. I have a colleague who goes for a walk in her lunch break and this helps her mentally and physically. It’s not hard to find the time. Make some time to do at least one of these at work!

Of course, if the cause of your stress is much more severe and you find it hard to cope, you can seek counselling as most places do have EAP counsellors. You also have options to look for better work elsewhere but of course, that does take time! Finally, if the stress is causing you to take time off work, you can always look into worker’s compensation and talk to professionals in the area such as Turner Freeman.

How do you deal with stress at work?

Do share!

photo credit: .v1ctor Casale. via photopin cc

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Hugzilla
    27 October 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Yes, that home/work separation is crucial to wellbeing. I work from home now and I sorely miss being able to leave the office and leave it all behind me. It makes a massive difference.
    Hugzilla recently posted…Who the Hell is Hugzilla, Anyway?My Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      28 October 2014 at 7:55 am

      That would be one of the downsides of working from home for sure! Unless of course, you have a massive house and a completely separate area for work! πŸ˜€

  • Hugzilla
    27 October 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Yes, that home/work separation is crucial to wellbeing. I work from home now and I sorely miss being able to leave the office and leave it all behind me. It makes a massive difference.
    Hugzilla recently posted…Who the Hell is Hugzilla, Anyway?My Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      28 October 2014 at 7:55 am

      That would be one of the downsides of working from home for sure! Unless of course, you have a massive house and a completely separate area for work! πŸ˜€

  • J.Gi Federizo
    28 October 2014 at 9:09 am

    I’ve known these tips for years. It’s following them that I need to work on.

  • J.Gi Federizo
    28 October 2014 at 9:09 am

    I’ve known these tips for years. It’s following them that I need to work on.

  • Anastasia Amour
    28 October 2014 at 10:44 am

    Great tips – definitely some that I’m taking on board as for me, working from home, sometimes separating work from home isn’t as easy as it sounds!
    xx
    Anastasia Amour recently posted…How we police girls bodies and why it’s a problemMy Profile

  • Anastasia Amour
    28 October 2014 at 10:44 am

    Great tips – definitely some that I’m taking on board as for me, working from home, sometimes separating work from home isn’t as easy as it sounds!
    xx
    Anastasia Amour recently posted…How we police girls bodies and why it’s a problemMy Profile

  • Min@Minsmash
    28 October 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Some very important points there! Office politics and gossip can really drag you down! Prolonged stress at work (chronic stress) had a very harmful effect on me and ultimately changed the course of my life. It’s great to see a post on ways to deal with stress at work!! πŸ™‚
    Min@Minsmash recently posted…The New Blog Name Reveal!My Profile

  • Min@Minsmash
    28 October 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Some very important points there! Office politics and gossip can really drag you down! Prolonged stress at work (chronic stress) had a very harmful effect on me and ultimately changed the course of my life. It’s great to see a post on ways to deal with stress at work!! πŸ™‚
    Min@Minsmash recently posted…The New Blog Name Reveal!My Profile

  • Pinky Poinker
    28 October 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I have the work thing sorted and am pretty organised. It’s the interpersonal stuff and dealing with rascally kids that can sometimes stress me out (as a teacher). All of these suggestions are great Sanch and can be applied to all types of stress I think πŸ™‚
    Pinky Poinker recently posted…Pinky’s Baby Shock!!!My Profile

  • Pinky Poinker
    28 October 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I have the work thing sorted and am pretty organised. It’s the interpersonal stuff and dealing with rascally kids that can sometimes stress me out (as a teacher). All of these suggestions are great Sanch and can be applied to all types of stress I think πŸ™‚
    Pinky Poinker recently posted…Pinky’s Baby Shock!!!My Profile

  • Amrita
    28 October 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Hey! Thanks for the great points! My colleague at work is going through a lot of work stress. I will send her a link to read this!!

    πŸ˜€

    Amrita

  • Amrita
    28 October 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Hey! Thanks for the great points! My colleague at work is going through a lot of work stress. I will send her a link to read this!!

    πŸ˜€

    Amrita