7 more tools for tackling workplace stress

As I noted in my last blog, stress in the workplace is probably as high or higher than it has ever been. With that in mind, I thought I’d present a few more tools to help you cope. Here you go:

1) Don’t be “on call” all the time. Leave your cell phone at home when you go out to a movie. (Please, we would all appreciate it!) Check your email and voice mail intermittently rather than constantly. Leave that reminder noise on your computer OFF — you do not have to check every email as it comes in! If you take a break to reenergize, you should actually be more efficient when you resume work, and the messages will still be there for you.

2) Realize that you can’t do everything immediately. Not everything needs to be done right away. If a certain demand occurs regularly, and if you are sure you aren’t procrastinating, planning and time management need to be addressed. Plan ahead and help others do the same by spelling out your expectations for scheduling.

3) Totally disconnect on a regular basis. Disconnect from all electronics. Cell phone, iPad, TV — everything. Then relax and enjoy the silence.

4) Understand and monitor your response to stress. When you sense stress coming on, have a preset game plan in mind for dealing with it. Monitor your self-talk — who is in control, you or the stress? Be sure it is you — especially in situations that recur regularly.

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5) Find true recreational activities. Participate in activities that give you a sense of being in control and are a mental release. Try activities that you enjoy and that challenge you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Work out, ride a bike, go running, go walking, get into a hobby that you absolutely love! Having a sense of control over your life in other areas can help you deal with whatever lack of control you might experience at work.

6) When you face a tough, stressful situation, do these three things:

  • Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can possibly happen?”
  • Prepare to accept the worst.
  • Try to improve on the worst.

7) Develop a support team. Stress can often isolate us from others and increase our stress. A good support team will allow you to communicate your situation to others and face it. Internalized stress can build up to a boiling point and overflow in unhealthy and unproductive ways. Having people who care about you acts as a safety valve.

Hopefully, these insights, along with those in my last blog, will prove beneficial. So the next time that stress bug is about to bite, grab the one tool that works best for you and stay in control!

Also, pay heed to these eight words from Marcus Aurelius: “Our life is what our thoughts make us.”

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