Women having a stressful day at work

Managing work stress

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It’s a fact of life that our jobs can sometimes become difficult or stressful. Long hours, a busy and pressure filled environment or concerns about job security can stem from tight deadlines, a new product roll-out or increased market competition.

Stress is usually an unpleasant feeling. However, if the situation is temporary, this feeling should pass, allowing things to return back to normal.


What causes workplace stress?

Some common causes of work stress include:

  • Fast paced role with short deadlines
  • Under-resourced environment
  • Toxic culture
  • Lack of support from colleagues
  • Changes within the organisation
  • No recognition or reward for performance.

Often the cause of work stress relates back to how we feel about our financial security. The ongoing anguish of being able to afford groceries and pay bills can feel worse if it all depends on enduring a stressful work environment.


What can you do to help make your work day less stressful?

While you may not be able to predict every situation that comes your way, what you can control is how you respond. Here are some simple tips to help you deal with stressful situations in the workplace.


Move around

Aim to move away from your desk once every hour. Grab a drink or go and speak to someone at their desk instead of sending an email. Even small amounts of movement will help throughout the day.


Take a break

Even if it’s just a quick walk around the block, a quick mental ‘reset’ can be highly beneficial and increase productivity. If you have a health app on your phone, you could even track your steps and set yourself a goal to reach a few more steps each day.


Plan in advance

When you have a busy schedule, it’s important to plan your time in advance to stay on track. One way to save time in the morning is to prepare your lunch the night before work. Exercising before work is also a great way to ensure that you take the time to do something for yourself before your busy schedule begins.


Try to get home on time

According to the ABS, over 60% of Australians work over 40 hours per week and 20% work over 50 hours per week. Leaving work on time to see your loved ones is a sure way to improve your relationships as well as your mental health.


Leave work at work

Separating work from your personal life is beneficial for your mental and physical health. By setting aside quality time to recharge outside of work hours, you’re more likely to find it easier to focus at work and achieve greater results.


Say no

If something is outside of your role, or perhaps you’re too busy to take on new requests, instead of saying yes to a deadline you can’t meet, it’s important to speak up and calmly outline why you have to say no.


Talk to your colleagues

You may find that you are not the only person in your workplace that is feeling the effects of workplace stress. Asking colleagues for their advice on how to be more productive can be useful as it’s likely that they could be in a similar position.


If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out to one of our counselling services.

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