How to Deal with Work Stress

These days, many of us work long hours even if we don’t call ourselves overworked. It’s not just the long hours that can be excruciating. It’s the stress the comes with it. Pressure from the boss, tight deadlines, doing more work with less people/budget… basically and crudely, it sucks. I totally feel ya.

Stress makes me feel like this angry cat sometimes...

Stress makes me feel like this angry cat sometimes…

So here is some tips from my personal experience to help you to alleviate and deal with your work stress.

  1. Maintain a decent, balanced diet

    You may find yourself saying you don’t have time to eat decently and maybe even surviving on instant noodles, other junk food and snack bars. Don’t! At least don’t do it LONG term. Go eat real food… food with meat, veggie, and carbs that are not all grinded up. It is never worth it to sacrifice your own health, and diet is essential to keep up a healthy body.

  2. Drink Water, Hydrate!

    Same reason as last. But just know that, the only thing that replaces water is water. Not juice. Not tea. We need to be hydrated sufficiently to be healthy AND be productive.

  3. Exercise and work out

    If you never, start. At least once or twice a week.
    If you already do, do more.
    I actually found myself working more and feeling better whenever I’m stressed from work. We can assume the exercise process help us purge our negative emotions. It’s good for yourself anyhow.

  4. Get Quality Sleep

    A nice bed with quiet, dark bedroom would be a start. If you skip sleep thinking you’ll get more done, think again. You must get sleep. You are literally slowly poisoning yourself physically and mentally if you skip sleep because our body does so much to heal and restore itself when we’re sleeping. Besides, there is no question we’re happier people if we get good sleep and definitely become more efficient.

  5. Save up money for a safety net

    Beyond the tips that help with health, this is probably the most important tip of all because this increase your overall effectiveness at work anyways. Because if you have enough money, such safety net lets you not have to worry so much about losing your job. You are more confident, less nervous, able to take more risks at work… and in general, you can more easily apply most of the tips below.
    So definitely save up money. We all need a safety net.

  6. Do not take things personally

    Most things happen at work are because of the nature of business. You’ll feel better. Even if it is, behave it is not because you’ll be more effective that way. Really, it’s just business.

  7. Do not take things too seriously

    Sometimes we get stuck thinking we have to do something or something has to be done certain way (or my way…). Does it? Maybe it’s not that important.

  8. Accept being dispensable

    Like the rectangles, we can be thrown away.

    Like the rectangles, we can be thrown away.

    Our social framework may have taught us that we have to be important. Well, in most corporates, most if not all of us are dispensable so forget being important. It’s an ego trip. It’s ok to be not important. Accept being not important… Giving up this ego helps by allowing us not to try TOO hard and do things that really help others.
  9. Accept not being in control

    The longer we work, the more we all soon realize that so much is outside our control in work settings. Sometimes stress arises so much because we feel and think we can do something about what we need to do.

  10. Accept mistakes

    Even though we talk about failures being the mother of success, I feel we have a tougher environment now than before regarding mistakes. It is ok and normal to make mistakes. Learn from it and move on. Got yelled at by the boss? Remember the last 3 tips… it’s just business, don’t get nervous/defensive (because either way you’re dispensable) so then you can explain whatever you need to explain, and then do what you need to do. In some cases, you just have to tell yourself… shit happens.

  11. Have backup plans

    We talked about being dispensable. Backup plans are things you can do if you choose to leave or get fired. Being healthy lets you take on many laborious jobs. It’s also important to have other skills, whether you learn it from classes or hobbies. Have something in your back pocket, language skills, knowing a music instrument well, physical trainer licenses, real estates licenses, online business, write a blog, etc…

  12. A backup plan... I'd love working as a barista... especially with this barista :)

    A backup plan… I’d love working as a barista… especiallywith this barista :)

  13. Walk away from work

    Just completely ditch work and walk away from work on intervals… 5 minutes, 10 minutes… 30 minutes. Your mind needs this “space” for it to rests.

  14. Sit with your complaints

    We may sit down and start thinking or talking to someone about work and suddenly… we realize we’re ranting. No one wants to be a cry baby but it’s also unhealthy to just swallow it all. It is ok to have complaints and negative thoughts. Just sit with the thoughts. Do not resist. They eventually go away. Each time you realize this, repeat.

  15. Have a friend who listens well

    Similary, it helps a lot to have a partner or friend who can really understand. The key here is to find/pick a friend who is really present when you talk and also someone who is not trying to fix your problem but simply to understand. Really, such a friend is wonderful for our emotional health when we’re stressed.

  16. You don't want friend who don't listen.  You also don't want an allie like golem.

    You don’t want friend who don’t listen. You also don’t want an allie like golem.

  17. Have an trust-worthy allie at work

    It may not always be the case for us to find a colleague who we can confide in. Someone like that can not only understand well but is in a great position to provide useful feedback and advice for work situations. If the person is really trustworthy, sharing dirty laundries with each other makes you feel like accomplice… though there is some risk to this part.

  18. Do not multitask

    We may get overwhelmed because there are too many tasks at hands. Don’t try to multi-task. It’s been scientifically proven that no such thing exist. Finish one thing as much as you can at once then switch to another task.

  19. Appreciate the simple things

    "simple" coffee art

    “simple” coffee art

    Our stress may cause us to hyper-focus on matters at work. But, work is not life. Life has so many other aspects and in each aspect there surely are many enjoyable things… if you care to observe and re-direct your attention. Things like tasty coffee at just the right temperature, warm shower at the end of the day, holding/cuddling a loved one in our arm… Like the mynah birds in Aldous Huxley’s “Island” always repeat, “Attention. Attention.”
  20. There is only now

    A large part of our anxiety and stress have to do with us thinking and worrying about future. So simply, realize there is only now. Tomorrow never comes. Rationally speaking, our worries are futile. It’s difficult to stop worrying but remembering that there is only now, that this moment is all we have, provides relief.

Instead of providing tips that address how directly to be more productive and getting things done at work, in retrospective, what I provided have more to do with having certain attitude and how to behave so we maintain our well being in high stress work situation.

How this article really came about is because recently I took on a new role at work and where I switched from being a developer to a management role. (explains why my postings had been scarce) Inevitably… my stress level has gone up. Beyond adopting to a completely different role, this is a managerial position that involves a lot of people oriented issues. Maybe I just haven’t gotten used to it yet but what happens is that I am finding myself carrying the burden and continuing to think and analyze work issues during off hours. Unlike purely technical tasks, I cannot easily stop myself and avoid doing so by simply turning off the computer.

In short, I had been continuously in high stress mode.

All in all, instead of focusing on making us to be better workers, I cater my tips for us to be better human beings. Our well being should take precedence, right? t get nervous/defensive (because either way you

Originally posted 2012-12-19 02:56:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

One Response

  1. […] have hinted at the situation in writing my past posts, How to Deal with Work Stress and Saving Up for Fuck You […]

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