Job stress can be all-consuming — but it doesn’t have to be. Address your triggers, keep perspective and know when to seek help from an LDS Counselor.
The workplace is a likely source of stress, but you’re not powerless to the effects of stress at work. Effectively coping with job stress can benefit both your professional and personal life. To begin coping with stress at work, an LDS Counselor can help you identify your stress triggers.
For a week or two, record the situations, events and people who cause you to have a negative physical, mental or emotional response. Include a brief description of each situation, answering questions such as:
- Where were you?
- Who was involved?
- What was your reaction?
- How did you feel?
Now evaluate your inventory. You might find obvious causes of stress, such as the threat of losing your job or obstacles with a particular project. You might also notice subtle but persistent causes of stress, such as a long commute or an uncomfortable workspace.
Often, the best way to cope with stress is to find a way to change the circumstances that are causing it.
In addition to addressing specific stress triggers, it’s often helpful to improve time management skills — especially if you tend to feel overwhelmed or under pressure at work. For example:
- Set realistic goals. Work with colleagues and leaders to set realistic expectations and deadlines.
- Set regular progress reviews and adjust your goals as needed.
- Make a priority list. Prepare a list of tasks and rank them in order of priority. Throughout the day, scan your master list and work on tasks in priority order.
- Protect your time. For an especially important or difficult project, block time to work on it without interruption. Also, break large projects into smaller steps.
- Take a break. Make the most of workday breaks. Even a few minutes of personal time during a busy workday can be refreshing. Similarly, take time off when you can, whether it’s a two-week vacation or an occasional long weekend. Also try to take breaks from thinking about work, such as not checking your email at home in the evening or choosing times to turn off your cellphone at home.
- Have an outlet. To prevent burnout, set aside time for activities you enjoy — such as reading, socializing or pursuing a hobby.
- Take care of yourself. Be vigilant about taking care of your health. Include physical activity in your daily routine, get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet.
If none of these steps relieve your feelings of job stress or burnout it may help to come and see an LDS Counselor. For more information on effective ways to handle job stress visit us online at www.j9n.83e.myftpupload.com or contact Jody VanDrimmelen at 972-426-9500.