How to Manage Stress at Work

Apr 24, 2014 | Good Working Environment, Health

Stressed man at desk with laptop

Escaping stress is impossible. Business professionals generally have multiple projects on their minds. With a full plate, a little stress can actually be a positive, by increasing focus enough to keep business moving.

However, an overload of stress can be detrimental to your performance at work and your health. Obviously, a lot of what happens throughout the workday is out of your control. Fortunately, there are a few ways to manage and cope with stress, which will benefit both your personal and professional life.

1. Recognize Your Stress

It’s important to know your triggers—when you are becoming very stressed. For example, when I’m stressed I tend to listen to a different genre of music than I normally would. Headaches, stomach pain, irritability, or fatigue are more common examples of stress symptoms. Once you identify a rise in your stress level, tackling it becomes much easier.

2. Do What You Can

I understand that this tip sounds incredibly vague and cliché, but hear me out. Start by distinguishing what you can control and what you cannot control. You can control how you spend your time, how and when you work, and how you react to things. Do anything you can to improve your resiliency to stress. Fill your free time with activities you love. In my case, I always make time to get some shots up in the gym. For others, it could mean walking, listening to music, or even playing video games. Do what you love. And remember to keep yourself in shape. Exercise, healthy eating, and a good night’s sleep can do wonders.

3. Prioritize and Organize

Set your priorities at the start of every day. Figure out what must be done first, then get on it. Regularly organize your schedule, and hold yourself to it as best as you can. If you need extra time, maybe leave just a few minutes earlier in the morning a couple times a week. Keeping yourself to a schedule can prevent many unwanted surprises and realizations that only add to stress at the workplace. A consistent schedule can also prevent over-scheduling. Do not overwhelm yourself—only take on what you know you can handle.

Obviously, there are hundreds of other ways to manage stress. These three quick tips are what I use to manage stress from juggling college, athletics, and work. Ultimately, you should find what works best for you personally.

Comment below any other suggestions or what you do to manage your stress!

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