How Employees Can Reduce Stress
The good news for employees is that there are many steps we can all take to minimize stress in our own lives. These personal actions can also impact our job performance and satisfaction. Take responsibility for your physical and emotional well-being; it will bring dividends to your professional and personal lives.
Actions Employees Can Take to Eliminate Stress
Here are my 10 suggestions for employees to take the initiative to reduce workplace stress:
- Maintain work-life balance. This is a challenge for many of us high-achievers, who tend to be very work-centric, but there are many rewards of having a balanced life. Take vacation on a regular basis, thus getting a much-earned break from the intensity of work. Manage to have a private life outside of the office.
- Follow a regular exercise program. Choose which exercise program suits your schedule and your budget. I personally have a treadmill at home that I try to use on a regular basis.
- Commit to healthy eating. In our very food-conscious-world most of us have been looking to eat healthier. Besides three regular meals, I look for healthy snacks to munch on, and drink water frequently.
- Recognize signs of excessive job and workplace stress. If your job is causing you headaches or other physical manifestations of stress, learn to recognize the symptoms right away. Your body may be giving you warning signals that you are pushing too hard; do not ignore these signs.
- Communicate issues of concern to your employer. At the right opportunity, inform your manager that there are issues that are causing unnecessary anxiety to yourself and perhaps others. There could be office procedures that can be modified or there might be a simple management solution to ease your organizational pain.
- Prioritize and organize your workflow. Always utilize whatever method(s) you have to prioritize and organize your work. When work piles up and things start to get overwhelming, having a system for keeping track of your “A” and also your “B” priorities is critical.
- Avoid the dangers of perfectionism. This one is not so obvious. Many of us who are honorary members of the “perfectionist club” need to recognize the limitations we create. Sometimes we avoid sending something out until we have obsessed about it for way too long. When you get stuck, have a colleague proof your work; he or she will likely catch any typos and provide suggestions.
- Develop a support network at work or at home. Share your job frustrations with a friend or family member. While you do not want to breach any of your employer’s confidential or proprietary information, having someone’s ear will usually help you get through those difficult situations.
- Delegate responsibly. Delegating to others is a necessary tool. You can still be in charge of a project, while properly delegating pieces that can be done by a colleague at a junior level, or by the appropriate administrative employee.
- Use a dose of humor. A healthy dose of humor is great medicine to maintain a balanced perspective on the work we all perform, often under pressured conditions. I purposely put this one last because it is most important to maintain your sense of humor and diffuse situations when it can be done tastefully.