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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Managing Workplace Related Stress

Consider this, you enter your office and slump on the chair thinking, ‘another day in hell’. The pile of works to be done flash through your mind and you feel tired. Sounds familiar? Welcome to the world of workplace related stress.

So, since when did this stress creep into your workplace? Was it when you heard the sombre economist use confusing jargon to present his worst for the economy? Or was it when you mistook the pink ribbon for a pink slip?

Reasons for stress

Stress at the workplace can be caused by crashing deadlines, additional and unreasonable responsibilities, long working hours, personal conflicts with colleagues, intense pressure, unmanageable targets, and so on.

Ok, is this the end of the road then? Of course not, there are many ways to beat stress.

Keep a diary

It may not be of great help just to keep a diary, write in it. A diary doesn’t judge you but listens to your complaints and grudges. As you write your problems, solutions emerge which can, in turn, take you to office fresh every day.

Get in shape

If joining a health club or doing yoga/tai chi doesn’t appeal you, try walking, climbing stairs or doing simple exercises for half an hour every day. Thus, you will inch closer to drive out ulcer, hyper tension, diabetes, heart problems and weight loss/gain. Start now.

Reduce bad habits

Stress can make you take solace in coffee, alcohol, nicotine or drugs. Be aware of these addictions as they can increase your stress levels. If you are already addicted to any of these, try reducing them and sip a glass of water instead.

Sleep well

Stress can also be caused due to insomnia, and vice versa. Ironically, if you try hard to sleep you may find yourself awake the whole night. Instead, try to relax by listening to music or reading books. A good night’s sleep will kick start your day on a positive note.

Start Planning

A day planner can help you plan your time and reduce anxiety. Once you start planning your day, you’ll be able to prioritise your tasks and work better. Try to get up thirty minutes earlier which will help reduce the mad rush to office.

In the office

If the manager is bent on giving you additional responsibilities you can’t handle say a polite ‘no’. This is better than non-performance and irritability at the workplace. However, if you are brave to do that only in your dreams, learn to delegate. Misunderstanding with colleagues can increase your stress; talk it out over a cup of coffee. Yes, an occasional cup of coffee won’t do any harm.

Be positive

Talk to your friends and don’t wait for December to take a vacation. During weekends, saunter to the nearby parks, galleries, cafes, museums and festivals. If you are worrying about your job, learn some additional courses in the evening and make yourself indispensable to the company.

Also, remember to smile. Life isn’t that hard, is it?

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