Unfortunately most jobs provide more than just a paycheck; they typically provide a great deal of stress as well. When you are stressed at work, it can be hard to not be stressed at home, and that’s not fair to you or your family.
Here we go over ways to cope with work-related stress and tips for a better work-life balance so keep reading if you’re currently looking for a solution.
Pinpoint the Source of Your Stress
The first step in learning how to manage work-related stress is determining where it is coming from. From there, you can formulate a plan that helps you mitigate the issues.
If you don’t know how to pinpoint the source of your stress, consider starting a stress journal. In your stress journal, detail each moment in which you felt triggered. Include where you were, who you were with, what you were doing or what you were talking about, and what time it was.
With this information, you can look for recurring patterns such as specific people, tasks, or environmental changes. Once you have determined the cause of your stress you can take additional steps to overcome the issue.
Often, work-related stress stems from a person’s inability to set boundaries which is essential for work-life balance and maintaining a healthy and fulfilling life. You can create boundaries in many ways.
Set time boundaries– Set a work schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Your schedule does not have to be the same every day but it should follow some consistency. This will help you develop a comfortable routine that removes the stress of not knowing when your work day will be over.
Leave work behind– Commitment to leaving your work and any work-related worries behind once you head home or enter the “home life” portion of the day. Communicate to your coworkers that once your shift ends or you leave the office, you are no longer available. This helps eliminate the issue of bringing work stress home with you. If you work from home, create a workspace dedicated to your work. At the end of every day, shut the door or try to distance yourself from the area.
Create an end-of-day routine– At the end of each workday, follow a routine that helps your mind recognize that you are done. Your routine can include closing down apps or programs, putting tools or documents away, or simply saying “see you tomorrow” to your coworkers.
Taking breaks is a fantastic way to manage stress levels throughout the day.
Many things happen when you take periodic breaks. Your body gets the chance to stretch, and release muscle tension and eye strain. You prevent burnout and you allow yourself to be social and think about something less stressful for a while.
Going the entire day with limited or no breaks creates a sense of pressure and isolation. It also makes it hard to concentrate, which may reduce productivity. When stress and physical pain are present at work, it is very difficult to simply leave it behind when you clock out. This of course disrupts your ability to have a stable home life.
According to the Pomodoro technique, you should work for 25 minutes then take a five-minute break. After doing this four times, take a longer break of about 15-30 minutes.
Find Immediate Coping Mechanisms
When stress starts to become too overwhelming, you need to find an immediate solution to avoid panic, anxiety, headaches, and other physical symptoms.
There are many coping mechanisms you can use in the moment to help you find comfort.
Diaphragmatic breathing– Diaphragmatic breathing is an exercise that involves taking a deep breath through your nose for four seconds, holding it for two seconds, and then slowly exhaling through your mouth for six seconds.
Aromatherapy– Aromatherapy is a holistic stress remedy that uses the natural aroma of plants via essential oils to calm the mind and body. Lavender, sandalwood, frankincense, rose, and lemon are especially effective scents.
Cannabis– Cannabis is a widely prescribed natural medication used for stress management and anxiety. It has proven to benefit mood regulation, heart rate, blood pressure, and physical pain while decreasing the frequency of negative thoughts. Here you can find information on which cannabis strain is best for stress relief.
Antihistamines– Antihistamines like Benadryl are not specifically designed to treat stress but are often prescribed as a treatment method for anxiety. One of the side effects of the education is drowsiness and when you take it for stress, you don’t feel tired. Instead, you feel relaxed, and you regain mental clarity.
Using coping mechanisms like these to mitigate overwhelm is important because prolonged stress can lead to the development of mental health conditions like anxiety disorder and depression. Unfortunately, once those conditions develop, symptoms typically interfere with every facet of your life including both work and home activities.
If you want to reduce work-related stress and improve work-life balance, you will need to practice being honest to everyone in your life about how you feel.
This means learning how to say no to your boss and coworkers when they need something beyond the scope of your time, comfort, and abilities. This means learning how to communicate your concerns to your employer and family when you are feeling overwhelmed. This also means learning how to be honest with yourself about how much you can take on at work and at home.
Being honest about your feelings and capabilities can be a challenging task because we all want to function like a superhero, especially when the people in our lives hold us to that standard. Unfortunately, we are all only human and we can only handle so much.
Communicating your concerns to your employer is often the hardest of these tasks and may require some preparation. When you are ready to have this conversation, schedule a meeting with your employer and be ready to articulate your current commitments and deadlines in addition to an outline of what would be more manageable going forward. During this meeting, highlight the specific challenges you are having in your work and provide suggestions on how you feel it can improve on both ends.