Workplace stress is nothing new to me or anyone else who has a job for that matter. For some people, stress from work is an occasional occurrence. For a workaholic, stress at work is just a normal day at the office.
There are a number of things that can lead to workplace stress:
- Unreasonable deadlines
- Being overworked
- Poor colleague relationships
- Workplace bullying
I can probably attribute my stress to all of the reasons above. So as a career woman, how do I try and manage stress at work? (Keyword here is “try”.) Here are a few tips I can share:
1. Choosing not to let workplace stress dictate my mood
This is a conscious decision I have to make every single day. I’m not going to lie. There are some days that I’m so overwhelmed I want to cry. Other days I want to throw things. And sometimes I want to punch someone in the throat. (literally)
Choosing not to let work dictate my mood meant brushing things off more often than letting them bother me. It meant ignoring certain comments from certain colleagues and smiling even though I wanted to hurt some people. In spite of everything, I have to say to myself, “I’m not going to let work put me in a bad mood…today.”
2. Treating work stress as a temporary state of mind
Managing stress at work involves a lot of self-convincing that stress is only a temporary state of mind, and I was the one who determined how long that state of mind was going to last. This is a lot easier said than done.
Whenever I brought work stress home with me, it impacted my family life and my mood for the rest of the night. It also affected my sleep thus screwing with my mood the next morning. But when I treated stress at work as a temporary emotion that could be squashed at any time, the power was suddenly transferred over to me.
3. Accepting that there are certain workplace dysfunctions you can’t change
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read an email or came out of a meeting and thought, “What’s wrong with everyone? Why is everything here so dysfunctional?” As much as I’ve wanted to change the processes, fix the communication gaps, or solve all the problems of the workplace, there are some dysfunctions that I can’t change.
Those are the problems that must be fixed from the top down.
As much as you want to save the world, you have to accept that you can’t fix the impossible. Putting that kind of pressure on yourself is a huge cause for stress. You can’t solve all the workplace problems. All you can do is execute your job as best as you can with the resources that you’re given. Then go home and enjoy your family.
Now I’m reaching out to my fellow workaholics. How do you deal with stress at work? What are some tips you can share? Leave me a comment.