By Malini Agarwal, Founder- MissMalini
If you are currently working, you probably know what it feels like to be stressed at work. Whether it’s a string of meetings, never-ending emails, a project with a tight deadline or an annoying boss, there are various factors that contribute to workplace stress.
While growing anxiety at the workplace is the reality of modern-day jobs, a lot of people tend to ignore it and wear it as a badge of honour. However, have you ever stopped and pondered that excessive worrying and stress on a job can have massive consequences that go beyond the four walls of an office.
Before the chronic toxicity of work-related stress engulfs every aspect of your lives, it’s time to do something about it and regain your sanity.
If you’re a victim of workplace stress, this article is for you. Read on to find out the alarming signs of stress at work, and what you can do to alleviate your suffering.
Alarming Signs of Workplace Stress
According to a recent survey, 9 out of 10 Indians suffer from stress at their workplace. Also, 89% of the population in India say they are suffering from stress compared to the global average of 86%. With work-related stress hampering the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of a person, it’s imperative to analyse the warning signs and act before they become a serious issue.
The warning signs of excessive stress at work include:
- Pressure to perform with rising expectations but no job satisfaction
- Continuously thinking about deadlines and performance reports
- Feeling anxious, irritable, and depressed
- Increased workload
- Downsizing and management changes
- No work-life balance
- Excessive use of social media can contribute to higher levels of stress, anxiety and negative emotions
When is Workplace Stress too much?
Stress isn’t always a bad thing. Depending on the situation, it can be positive or negative. In fact, a little stress can help you stay motivated and urge you to get closer to your goals. However, in today’s hectic world, most working professionals tend to experience full-blown stress. Owing to long hours, tight deadlines and ever-increasing demands, the body and mind tends to get overwhelmed and drained.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one in every seven individuals experiences mental health issues at the workplace. It occurs when people are presented with work that does not match their expertise and knowledge, which further challenges their ability to cope.
Today, the need for a healthy work environment is more important than ever. While it improves employee productivity, it also leads to better sales for a business. The workplace culture too has a direct impact on the stress levels of an individual.
To make it easier for you to cope with stress at work, we’ve highlighted a few steps you can implement personally and how you can seek help from your organisation.
How to Cope with Stress at work?
Here’s how you can deal with stress at the workplace:
- Turn to colleagues for support: Have a solid support system at work whom you can turn to in the event of a stressful situation. Spend work breaks engaging with people rather than spending time on your smartphone.
- Make time for regular exercise: Incorporate at least a 30-minute workout regime in your daily schedule. It can increase energy, motivate you and relax both your mind and body.
- Spend less time on social media and sleep well: Insufficient sleep can hamper productivity at work. Aim for eight hours a night and make healthy changes to your bedtime routine.
- Eat healthy, nutritious foods: The food choices you make has a significant impact on how you feel while working. Eat nutritionally-rich foods that maintain your energy and focus. Minimize sugar and refined carbs.
- Create a balanced schedule: A work-life balance is necessary. All work and no play are bound to lead to a burnout. Spend time with family, engage in social activities and kick-back and relax. You could also create a plan on healthy ways to recharge at the end of a workday.
- Identify bad habits that contribute to workplace stress: Early in the stress lifecycle, identify the bad habits that contribute to prolonged stress at work. Find a way to lighten the mood by not overthinking your problems.
- Watch your social media activity: If there are certain accounts on social media that zap your energy, make you feel anxious or lead to FOMO, unfollow them straightway and instead follow accounts that help you thrive.
- Maintain a gratitude journal: At the end of each day, we all have something to be thankful for. Maintain a gratitude journal and write down the things that made you happy each day. During stressful times, revisit your journal and you’ll instantly feel much better.
Stress Management in the Workplace – Role of an Organisation
While you can personally implement measures to cope with stress, your organisation has a role to play too in ensuring your overall well being.
- Wellness programs: An employer can organise wellness programs, medical check-ups, employee training and team outings to improve overall health of an employee.
- Employee assistance programs (EAP): An EAP is a work-based intervention program that is designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that can adversely affect their performance.
Managing stress at work is not something that will happen overnight. You have to practice and you will slowly start feeling better. If you have some proven ways to deal with workplace stress, we’re all ears.