Do You Have Stress Where You Work?
Do you have stress at work? Silly question, today everyone has stress at work and some people bring this stress home with them, which is very unhealthy. Now we do know that some stress is good because it can motivate us to get out of our comfort zone and it can be used as a tool to help people meet deadlines.
The problem arises when stress is too much for us to handle and it can cause major health issues in our lives. We need to come up with ways and strategies for handling stress in order for us to not get sick and stay healthy both mentally and physically.
At work and at home we get bombarded from many different directions. People are always demanding things from us especially our time. We need to learn how to prioritize our time and decide what is important that needs to be dealt with now what can wait. Many times I have employees that walk into my office asking me questions and while I am trying to answer that employees questions I get rudely interrupted by other employees that are trying to get my attention and steal my time.
Also prioritize your battles. I have learnt from many years of experience that most battles with employees do not have to be. It is best to walk away from employees that are making it a point to get your blood boiling. In the past I would fly off the handle and drive up my stress level because of something stupid an employee had said.
Prioritize your time and your battles.
Stress can kill your physical body faster than almost anything. Stress will cause depression, anxiety, blood pressure issues, migraines and many other health problems. When you are going through stressful times it is important to eat healthy, get plenty of rest and exercise. Doing these three things will help your physical health and help you be more positive during the stressful time you are going through.
Make a list of healthy choice.
When you are stressed out are you the type of person that goes home and raids the refrigerator or lay in front of the television watching mindless TV shows? Maybe you’re the person that drowns your stress with alcohol or binge eat to take your mind off the stress of the day? If you fall into one of these scenarios what you need to do is make a change and find healthy alternatives to handle your stress. For me I would grab a big bowl of ice cream and turn on the TV and eat my stress away, the only thing that did was cause me to become over weight and depressed. I had to find an alternate method to rid my stress, I started walking and listening to easy listening music, eat healthy fruits and vegetables and I started blogging.
Each one of us are different, you may be the type that finds yoga or jogging appealing. Some of us like to do wood working or working on a car as a hobby a way to destress. Each of us need to find an alternative way to destress at the end of the day that is not only good for the mind but also good for the body.
With today’s technology it is easy to get caught in the trap of being tied to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I know at my work my customer care department and my upper managers wants us to be on call 24/7. Being on call like this means that we carry stress with us at all times. We have to be able to handle a complaint at any given moment. When the phone rings my blood pressure shoots up about 20 notches. Everybody needs to be able to break away from being tied to the workplace 24/7, we need to have that time when we can relax and de-stress. You need to let your company know what your boundaries are and let them know that you have a schedule and do not contact me after this time of day or night.
Each day schedule yourself a few minutes of free time. It may sound crazy but if you are like me your body is tense from the time you leave for work till the time you get home. This is also extremely unhealthy. Take your day planner and schedule quiet time breaks when you do some deep breathing exercises, or meditation, or other relaxation techniques that will make you stop what you are doing, release the tension in your body, unclench your teeth and truly relax and exhale all the pressure built up in your body. This may only be 10 or 15 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon, I am sure the company will not fall apart in these few minutes.
Stop people and noises from interrupting your day. For me this is huge, I have 20 to 40 emails every hour of the work day plus text messages all day long. I have constant interruptions from my sales staff and my office staff 12 hours a day on top of the phone ringing constantly. You may ask how do I concentrate when I am at work? There are days I ask myself the same thing? Each one of us needs to be able to turn off all the noises our smartphones make. We need to turn off the email alerts that popup on our computer screens. I believe just doing these two things will help our stress level drop immensely. We also need to learn how to close our door when we have important projects that we are working on, some of us may need to hang a sign on our door that says “DO NOT DISTURB”.
Turn the Work Off
For some this may be very difficult to do. Each one of us need to create space in our calendar where we can walk away from our work and leave the work at work. That could be taking a vacation where you cannot be reached by your employer. For me it is taking a cruise and tell my company that I will not be able to be reached. A couple times I took a trip to Central and South America where my smartphone would not work. The company did not like that they could not get ahold of me but too bad, I told them this is my time and not theirs. If you cannot take a real vacation away from work, try and find an activity or a hobby that you can engage in that takes your mind off of work. You must find something that can break the mental cycle of work and have some me time.
Everything you read today about stress comes mostly back to work. Our society here in America is work / work / work. We go to work in the morning earlier and earlier every day, we use to put in 8 hours a day and go home, today we put in 10 to 12 hours a day and bring work home with us. We use to work 5 days a week, now we work 6 and 7 days a week. Today this is the norm for most people. Our society has gotten to a place that most of us are stressed out and on medication in order to deal with the stress and anxiety.
We need to start practicing some of the techniques above to help us destress and relax before it is too late. Just today I had one of my office managers tell me that I need to delegate some of my responsibilities to some of my management staff, I told her I was brought up that if I wanted it done correctly that I feel I had to do the task. Her response was, that is fine but I will be going to the grave way to early unless I learn how to walk away from some of my stress.